Dead and buried: Edinburgh votes 'No' to congestion charging - BikeBiz

Dead and buried: Edinburgh votes 'No' to congestion charging

As expected, Edinburgh locals have decided to vote against c-charging. Edinburgh's newspapers were against congestion charging and came up with constant Daily Mail type news stories about property price hikes, of the type often parodied in Private Eye.
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Of the 291 228 people eligible to vote, 179,905 voted. 133,678 people voted No and 45 965 voted Yes.

Responding to the result, Councillor Donald Anderson, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council said: "We are a Council that listens to the views of its residents and we respect the decision that people have made. The people of Edinburgh have decided not to support a congestion charge, and this will not now be introduced in the city. We advocated the scheme because we thought that congestion charging was in the best interests of the city, but we will respect the choice made by Edinburgh residents. The idea is now dead and buried for Edinburgh but we are as committed as ever to further improving our city's transport.

Councillor Andrew Burns, Executive Member for Transport said "We supported a congestion charge scheme for the city, because I, and I believe everyone, want a city with less traffic, reduced congestion, cleaner air and more buses and trams. However, I respect the views of the voters and we will pursue the base strategy that has been chosen.

"We will have to focus our minds on how we will cope with congestion increases in the years ahead. The base strategy will now go ahead and we will examine what additional measures we can take to control the increasing congestion."

Lindsay McDermid, promotions manager for Edinburgh Bicycle, said the workers' cooperative did not have an official view on the congestion charge issue:

"We body swerve anything of a political nature but, unofficially, we were in favour of the charge. It would have brought many enviromental benefits.

"I don't think voters were well informed. Many thought the charge would apply to Saturday's when it wouldn't have done.

"Asking people to vote for such a charge was like asking do people want to pay for their dinner break or get it free? There's a British thing with cars. Motoring is associated with wealth and freedom of transport. People have more cars per head in Germany but they also cycle, nobody turns their nose up against cyclists.

"Here people are Araldyted to the seats of their cars. It would have taken a lot more than a £2 charge to prise them from their cars but the congestion charge would have been a good start."

Here's the official, keeping-up-appearances press release on the damaging slap-in-the-face from Edinburgh voters:

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/.../NewsRelease.idc&ID=3028

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