Anthony has started a petition calling on the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) to drop their plans for a Cambridge City congestion charge.
The proposition of a £5 charge for entering Cambridge City, part of the GCP’s Public Transport and City Access Strategy, has been met with outrage by residents and representatives across Cambridgeshire. Scroll below to add your name to Anthony's petition.
Anthony has long opposed a congestion charge, and a survey of almost 2,000 of his constituents earlier this year indicated around 65% opposed any such scheme. In campaigning against a charge, he has written to the GCP asking for clarity on their plans and arranged to meet with GCP officials to discuss plans. He has also written to the leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council to ask her for clarity on SCDC’s position, raised the issue with Secretary of State for Transport, and lobbied the Mayor of the Combined Authority.
South Cambridgeshire Conservatives have also continually opposed any kind of congestion charge since plans were first mooted earlier this year. Cllr Heather Williams has spoken out publicly and questioned the need for a charge in Council meetings. Led by Cllr Williams, Conservative councillors leaders across Cambridgeshire wrote to the GCP to demand the axing of the proposals, and the Conservative Group on South Cambridgeshire District Council have tabled regular questions to the SCDC leadership asking for updates on their position.
Anthony added: “I have a simple message for the GCP: stop it now.
“Stop this driving tax before you create a two-tier system for our residents, separating those who can afford a charge from those who can’t. Stop it before people feel they can’t afford a visit to the hospital, to take their kids to school, to drive to the local shop, or simply to move their car to a new parking spot. Stop it before businesses, commuters, and visitors turn their backs on our thriving city because you’ve made it too expensive for them. Stop it before you increase the traffic in the villages around Cambridge.
“In announcing this new driving tax during a cost-of-living crisis, the GCP and its political leadership have proved how utterly disconnected they are from ordinary people struggling to make ends meet.”
Cllr Heather Williams, Major Opposition Group Leader at SCDC, commented: “Charging hard- working people who have no choice but to drive into Cambridge is wrong. It is a stealth tax on all who live in Cambridgeshire, one that was downplayed by the Lib Dems during the election and sprung on us at the worst possible time. It will be those already financially struggling that will suffer the most from this.
To include Addenbrookes and charge people to visit their ill relatives is unreasonable and illogical. I can’t see any reason why the site could not be excluded, and fear it is only there to give the project a cash cow. Perhaps they should have spent taxpayer’s money on better public transport rather than spending millions bailing out developers, such as with the relocation of Waterbeach Station?”