Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Labour and Congestion Charging… Whining and Wrong

This article is worth ‘Fisking’:

Let me give you the facts: congestion charging in Cambridge was dreamt up by the Conservatives and the Conservative-run county council.

No, the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF), which tied road improvements to congestion charging, was dreamt up by the Labour government. I agree that the county councillors then took it up, led by the nose by ambitious officers, but it would not have happened without Blair or Brown.

I have always been very clear in my opposition to it.

No. You voted for its introduction. Here is the link where the vote is recorded in the County Council minutes. Seven councillors voted against proceeding with the TIF bid. You were not one of them.

If all the extra investment in public transport failed to stop congestion hitting the trigger and if the public supported it, then the Tory County Council would introduce congestion charging but not until 2017 at the earliest.

There was no mention of public support being part of the trigger mechanism to start congestion charging. This was a point that I made at the time.

The justification given by many councillors for supporting the TIF process was along the lines, ‘we had to go along with the TIF bid because we might have got some money out of it for pet projects and, speak softly, we would have tried to renege on charging at a future date.’

This is why people are wary, rightly, of politicians of all parties.

I am proud that the City Conservatives never indulged in this kind of approach to the TIF bid. We said we were against it and every candidate we fielded would have voted against it at the first opportunity. This cannot be said for the local Labour party whose representives talked tough about TIF but when it came to the vote, voted for it to go ahead.

The voters can see through efforts to twist the truth

I hope so.

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