Thursday, 5 September 2013

Lib Dems Call For Halt To Tory Plan For P&R Parking Charges

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats are furious about controversial plans to charge all drivers for using the county’s Park and Ride sites which have come out of the blue with no consultation.

They have called for the Tory plans to be withdrawn because they claim there has been no consultation with the public or elected representatives. The case for such charges has been badly presented with insufficient attention being given to risks, including more parking in residential areas and a disincentive for take-up of sustainable transport, they say.

Lib Dems on Cambridgeshire County Council fear the plans, to charge all drivers a flat fee of £1, will force traffic onto residential streets around Cambridge.

David Jenkins, Spokesperson for Planning, Environment and Enterprise said the objective of the charges is simply to raise money.

“This has come out of the blue,” he said. “It's never been discussed and it's bad government. At a time when we are moving towards a more inclusive style at the council this is a throwback to the old days of Tories not bothering to find out what local people think."

Susan van de Ven, Spokesperson for Transport, said: “Little attention has been given to the consequences of such a change. It will hurt the poorest people most and it will have an adverse effect on the council's sustainable travel objectives."

Amanda Taylor, Spokesperson for Resources, who represents Cambridge’s Queen Edith’s on the county council fears the move will force traffic away from the Babraham Park and Ride into residential streets around Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

“We have a big problem with parking around the hospital and the nearby sixth form colleges which we have spent years trying to get the county council to address” she said. “I can see this proposal making it a whole lot worse.

“This is a huge backward step in controlling parking and congestion in Cambridge. There has been no consultation and little regard for the fact that the city council was planning to discuss the whole issue of Park and Ride and revenue opportunities at its next Resources Scrutiny committee.”

Lib Dems have asked for the proposed changes, due to be discussed by the county council’s Cabinet on Tuesday (September, 10), to be put on hold to enable a broader based study  which should also address other revenue raising opportunities including the exploitation of the retail potential of the P&R sites.