Issues: Consultation by the County Council

There have been a number of comments that the County Council’s consultation on the proposals since July 2007 has been problematic.

We agree that the County Council could and should have done better on consultation.

However, we do think that opponents of the scheme are using the problems with the consultation as a means of attacking the underlying proposals. In our view, these are different issues.

Many of the positive aspects, all of which are published in hundreds of pages of detailed proposals have not been adequately publicised, and this lack of balance has been reflected in the media and by politicians, who have focused almost solely on the Charge aspect.

We think the County Council should do more to ask people what they think about the proposals based on the specific schemes proposed. To some extent, this very website, is filling that need.

The consultation results do actually indicate support if key conditions are in place, all of which are already actually proposed (though one can argue about the meaning in the third question of “attractive alternatives” being in place). This shows that the public have not understood well the actual proposals.

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Figure 30: Extent to which respondents support or oppose congestion charging in Cambridge (In-home survey)

We think the County Council is right to have asked people outside Cambridge their views on the charging as much as those inside Cambridge. However, we feel that more consultation should be done with Cambridge people alone, as they will be most affected.

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