Introduce congestion charge for those who commute into city

Congestion Charing will reduce car use and encourage more public transport but also bike use. Traffic is largely made up of those commuting into the city from elsewhere. Encourage those driving from far out to use park and bike facilities. This scheme could pay for cycling infrastructure and bike hire schemes. St. John's road, morning side, Queensferry road are all jam packed in usual times by commuters. We should discourage this and encourage switching modes. Some will still want to drive but some will cycle if infrastructure and help is there. 

Why the contribution is important

Reducing cars in the city centre / inside bypass by charging can help raise cash for schemes to improve cycling and walking and using public transport. 

swtich modes at periphery and this helps the people living in the city itself. 

by Spudgt2 on July 31, 2020 at 07:32AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.8
Based on: 12 votes


  • Posted by sg July 31, 2020 at 08:28

    Putting the blanket approach in place won't help - there should be incentives for electrric/hybrid/hydrogen vehicles.
  • Posted by ryanb July 31, 2020 at 09:21

    Unfortunately this idea would punish those who are unable to take public transport or cycle due to mental and/or physical disabilities. Many parents need their cars to take multiple children to care facilities or school, and having to bus/cycle/walk with 2+ kids can be a cause of stress right at the start of the day! Many other carers and their dependants also see cars as the safest and best choice for independent transport.

    I agree with SG's suggestion about incentives to buy/lease electric/hybrid/hydrogen vehicles. These are much more environmentally friendly and would enable carers to perhaps trade in their old cars to lower the cost of the new one, then continue to transport their loved ones quickly, safely and relatively stress-free!
  • Posted by sg July 31, 2020 at 14:16

    There are already incentives available (such as grants and loans - check Energy Trust Scotland). Those initiatives are tackled on higher level. But what council could (and should) do is to provide infrastructure. As a proud owner of plugin hybrid I am consciously trying to drive in the urban areas electric only. The problem is that there is hardly any place in Edinburgh centre to charge my car. Unlike Glasgow, where around the city centre and west end there are plenty on-street chargers. I haven't seen any on-street charger in Edinburgh.
  • Posted by Spudgt2 August 01, 2020 at 18:04

    I disagree With the comment about carers needing a car so that congestion charging shouldn’t be out in place. It should apply to those that travel into the city from outside where the majority of traffic comes from.
    Those who feel they can’t switch modes are part of the issue - they should try walking or other modes. This forum is about ways to encourage cycle use and for that I’d say that being a parent, taking children to school can be achieved on bicycle. I’ve seen it happen all over the world. They have the infrastructure there, so we should too and close the rat runs too to reduce Through traffic
  • Posted by finlay1 August 01, 2020 at 18:52

    It would be highly inappropriate to charge people for driving their car as we are currently in a global pandemic. Many people are already in a difficult financial situation and the last thing they need is a bill for driving their car into the city centre. To limit the spread of Covid19 (on 31 July new Covid19 cases were at an 8 week high) it is absolutely crucial to discourage use of public transport. People should be allowed to drive their car wherever they want free of any additional charges but we also must implement better cycling infrastructure. You mention one of the reasons you would like a congestion charge introduced in Edinburgh is to raise funds for cycling infrastructure. That is not necessary. The City of Edinburgh Council a few months ago received £5million from the Scottish Governments ‘Spaces for People’ programme to implement safer walking and cycling infrastructure.
  • Posted by sg August 02, 2020 at 16:11

    I agree with @finlay1. What's more I think, that the daily parking fees should not exceed price of return bus ticket. Perhaps it could be limited to those, who work in the city centre, but at the same time it may eliminate those, who ocasionally need to travel to the city centre.
  • Posted by finlay1 August 04, 2020 at 02:59

    @sg @ryanb, you may or may not be aware that there is already a £3000 government grant available for fully electric cars costing under £50K and governments are investing massive sums of money in electric car charging infrastructure. Last year over 37,000 fully electric cars were sold in the U.K. This year we are set for another record breaking year for electric car sales as despite the global pandemic which locked down the nation for over 100 days, in the first six months of 2020 30,957 electric cars were sold, up from 11,975 in the first 6 months of 2019. This meant that fully electric cars represented 4.7% of all new cars sold in the first half of 2020. Also another positive is that sales of plug-in hybrid cars in the first 6 months of 2020 are up 28.9% compared to the same period in 2019 with a total of 19,508 plug-in hybrid cars sold from January to June 2020, up from 15,136 in the first six months of 2019. 39,328 hybrid cars sold in the first 6 months of this year (vehicles that don’t have a plug and use energy usually waisted when braking for acceleration so the car can drive for limited periods of time on electricity alone therefore producing no emissions), Hybrid cars represent 6% of all cars sold from January - June in 2020.
  • Posted by sg August 04, 2020 at 19:11

    @finlay1 I am a proud owner of a plugin hybrid for nearly a year. Indeed I took advantage of the program administered by Energy Trust Scotland.
    I am now doing 90% of my urban mileage emission-free - either driving electric or cycling. Cycling is not always the option due to the weather or need to transport something. The biggest pain for electric cars in Edinburgh CC is lack of charging infrastructure. Glasgow has dealt with that way better.
  • Posted by Spudgt2 August 04, 2020 at 19:32

    I’m afraid you’re missing the point.
    Cycling to city centre is free, better for you and the environment. You don’t need to be Chris hoy either to do it. Park your car at the city reaches and cycle the rest. The global pandemic showed that people can switch from public transport to cycling. This initiative should encourage that. Leave driving to city for those living there or who are less able, though there are good cycles for some folk with disabilities. Those working in city should find alternatives, like cycling or walking. It’s quite simple really. I’ve really enjoyed living in the city with fewer cars on the road and whilst most of the office staff are still working from home we’ve not seen the levels of pre-covid traffic from those who commute from Fife or West Lothian. Let’s hope it lasts.
  • Posted by edinburger August 10, 2020 at 23:16

    This is simply not inclusive. So many people rely on cars to get into the city centre. It's not only blue badge holders, it's often working class people who live outside the centre. Plenty of places lack good public transport links, and a car is often needed to make it possible to donate items to a charity shop, or to pick up bulky or awkward items.
  • Posted by finlay1 August 16, 2020 at 21:41

    @edinburger, I couldn't agree with you more!
  • Posted by Voiceofreason August 17, 2020 at 08:55

    I can recall that the council once talked about carrot and stick when it came to road usage. When, exactly, will motorised road users see any carrots? Congestion charging is just another unrealistic economic lever to force people to use a less convenient form of transport. The last time the council decided to have ago at this, despite handing over loads of cash to their silent partners to lobby and also burying a straightforward question in impenetrable terminology, they were humiliated 4 to 1 at the ballot box. They should forget it and stick to artificial congestion generation as the favoured disincentive - they're brilliant at that!
  • Posted by Voiceofreason August 18, 2020 at 17:58

    "The global pandemic showed that people can switch from public transport to cycling. " - Based on what I saw, apart from a wee bit of additional leisure bicycling by folk who clearly had no idea what 2 metres looks like - not so much.

    How do you know that people swapped from bus to bicycle as opposed to from bus to car? Sure, buses were temporarily empty (and the tram empty as always....) but that was only when nobody apart from key workers should have been on the roads anyway - I went out every single day and saw even less than the usual pitifully few cycles using the expensively provided infrastructure - not hordes more.
  • Posted by Voiceofreason August 19, 2020 at 21:21

    "producing no emissions", apart from those generated by digging out thousands of tons of material for the battery central to any eco-shoppong-trolley, then shipping the material round teh globe uin ship burning bunker diesel, before shipping the car to the UK and then back to where it came from when the batteries need to be disposed of. In this way, a leccy car generates a vastly greater carbon footprint before it turns a wheel than a petrol/diesel equivalent. Think of this as an emissions overdraft - like the half toy tram set, it did not spring from the ground watered by Ms Thunberg's crocodile tears and that overdraft will never be paid off. Leccy vehicles are not "green" unless you wilfully ignore or haven't the wit to see the whole life cycle of the vehicle.
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