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A decision against implementing a congestion charge was made in 2005.  There were a number of feasibility studies and consultations undertaken.

The final charging scheme consisted of two cordons at which a charge would be levied for vehicles travelling inbound, towards the city centre. There would be an outer cordon around the edge of the built-up area of Edinburgh, just inside the outer city bypass, and an inner cordon around the centre of the city, broadly encompassing the World Heritage Site 

The  outer  cordon  would  operate  between  7am  and  10am  only;  the  inner between 7am and 7pm, Mondays to Fridays in both cases.

The charge was to be £2 (€2.40), levied no more than once per day on any single vehicle.  If  a  vehicle  were  to  cross  both  cordons,  or  to  cross  either cordon  a  number  of  times  during  the  day,  the  charge  would  still  only  be applied once that day. In this sense, the scheme resembles an entry permit scheme.

 

Public opinion was always a key concern. The around 19,000  consultation responses  received in the 1999 consultation showed high  levels  of  support  (62%)  shown  for  the  strategic  option  including  the concept of congestion charging. In addition to the public consultation, there was also extensive consultation with stakeholders.

The  conclusions  drawn  from  the  consultation  and  an  initial  technical  appraisal were  that  congestion  charging  was  feasible,  would  reduce  traffic  levels,  could generate substantial revenue for transport investment and would have no or very limited adverse economic impact if the charge was set at an appropriate level. In addition, there was a high degree of acceptance provided that the overall package was right.

In 2002 it was decided that a referendum would be taken before implementing a congestion charge. In 2003 there was a market research study undertaken, where there was a less positive outcome on how people were likely to vote on a referendum. Unfortunately the timing of the referendum was when the public opinion on charging was particularly low. The  public  inquiry  of  2004  did  not  identify  any  significant  barriers  to  the implementation of the scheme.

Results Edinburgh CS consultation

 

 

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