23 Mar 2018
GLASGOW City Council is to consider introducing a congestion charge for the city centre within the next three years.
A Labour amendment was voted through to alter the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) plan to introduce fines for buses that don’t meet the standards, include all vehicles in a second phase and a bring in a road user charging scheme. The plans now go forward for the council’s City Administration Committee to consider.
Matt Kerr, Cardonald Labour councillor, raised the proposal which could see a congestion charge in place in the city centre by the end of 2020. He said there needs to be a shift from cars to public transport to free up road space for buses. Any income generated would be used to improve roads for walking and cycling and make public transport cheaper.
SNP councillors said they were not against the idea of congestion charging but wanted a paper to be brought separate to the Low Emission Zone.
Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “This LEZ is far from the only work going on to address congestion, transport and environmental issues in the city.
“The Glasgow Connectivity Commission, headed by Professor David Begg, has been given a remit to think radically about how transport in our city can be made to work for everyone – socially, economically and environmentally. That’s the bigger picture.”
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Stuart Patrick, said: “We’re unconvinced that there is a place for a congestion charge.
“It would undermine the role of the city centre, have a negative impact on discretionary car travel and on the retail and leisure sector, and most likely result in an exodus to out of town provision.
“It’s important that the business community’s views are heard, and that it is given the opportunity to contribute to any discussions on the subject.”