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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 14:25 GMT
Charges for city drivers debated
St Mary Street, Cardiff
Motorist would be charged 1 to travel into the city
Motorists could face a fee every time they drive into Cardiff if a scheme to reduce congestion and raise money for transport improvements is approved.

Plans to charge drivers 1 each time they enter the city are contained in a report which will be discussed by councillors on Thursday.

Motorists are being charged enough really to use the roads

Cardiff councillor Jayne Cowan

It is one of the suggestions included in a green paper on upgrading the city's transport system.

But some councillors have raised fears that people on lower incomes could suffer if the scheme is introduced.

Cardiff councillor Jayne Cowan said: "With congestion charges I would be absolutely opposed to it.

"Already motorists are being penalised with road tax and tax on petrol.

"Motorists are being charged enough really to use the roads.

"We need to encourage people to use other forms of transport - like car sharing or buses.

"Until we can provide adequate public transport people are not going to leave their cars," she said.

Just because it may work in London, it doesn't mean it would work in Cardiff

Julian Rosser, Friends of the Earth

She added: "It is going to hurt their pockets and we need to think about the people in these circumstances.

"There are other avenues we can look at."

Environmental campaigners have said that the council needs to improve public transport as well as tackling congestion.

Julian Rosser from Friends of the Earth said: "We do have traffic problems in Cardiff but we are not really sure about congestion charges.

"We would like to see more information - like what sort of levels they are going to set the prices at and how that is going to impact on congestion in Cardiff.

"And, what impact it will have on businesses and on residents.

"It is the sort of scheme which may work differently in different places.

"Just because it may work in London, it doesn't mean it would work in Cardiff.

"The issue with public transport is that there isn't enough money there.

"We would be quite sad if this turned into the sort of scheme that just got more money for Cardiff council to use for more road building," he added.


More from south east Wales
See also:

21 Jan 03 | England
20 Jan 03 | England
13 Jan 03 | England
17 Dec 02 | Politics
06 Dec 02 | England
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