I WAS astonished at the comments you made regarding congestion charging in Cambridge. Were you being serious? I have to ask because I don t think that anybody seriously thinks that the central London s charge is anything other than a mechanism for making
I WAS astonished at the comments you made regarding congestion charging in Cambridge. Were you being serious?
I have to ask because I don't think that anybody seriously thinks that the central London's charge is anything other than a mechanism for making yet more money from the poor motorist.
In spite of the charge, and in spite of its rising on several occasions, bus fares have risen and the Tube is now an incredible £4 for a single journey, the facilities have not improved at all, and very soon the prices will rise to £10 and the area increase.
To say that it is not a stealth tax is something that I would have expected from a politician but not from a newspaper that is meant to be representing locals in the area.
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You say that there will be huge potential benefits within Huntingdonshire. I suspect this will not be the case.
I suspect that this will simply be Cambridge City Council realising that there is a huge untapped cash cow of tourists and non-Cambridge people waiting to be plucked by people, including local people, just wanting to get into their nearest city by car.
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As with London, we will be promised the earth in terms of improved services and, as with London, I suspect that locals will be bitterly disappointed with the results.
I suspect that the charge will initially start at a very reasonable (and we will be told acceptable) amount. And I suspect that this will very quickly rise to an extortionate amount.
I do not understand congestion charges. I pay my road tax and my fuel tax and I resent, as a citizen of this country, having to pay additionally to take my car into my local city.
But the thing that particularly incenses me about this congestion charge question, and the Cambridge issue is no different, is that I have no chance to register my disapproval with the vote.
This is why I'm so surprised that a local newspaper has taken such a line over this issue. Usually you can expect journalists at least to argue the case of the poor overtaxed individual who has no voice in the matter, rather than spout the politically correct view that you seem to be following.
GAVIN WILKINS, Pipers Lane, Godmanchester
* Editor's note: Political correctness is not part of this newspaper's agenda. Care for future generation is, and that is largely the rationale for the proposed congestion charge in Cambridge, which we fully support. As to London, it makes no social, economic or environmental sense to drive there from Godmanchester, unless it is to collect or deliver goods that are too heavy or bulky to be carried on a train service that is quicker, cheaper and more reliable than driving. What's more, since this seems to be behind Mr Wilkins's complaint, the train is tax-free - the UK does not levy VAT on public transport fares. And the £4 flat fare covers all six Tube zones across London and is levied only on passengers who do not use the more cost-effective Oyster card.