Congestion charges plan opposed in Sheffield

Traffic congestion on Sheffield's inner ring road
Traffic congestion on Sheffield's inner ring road

Plans to extend congestion charges to major cities around the UK have been given the thumbs-down by Sheffield councillors and business leaders.

Backbench Liberal Democrat members had raised the possibility of extending a London-style charge to other large cities such as Sheffield.

They have also raised the idea of banning petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and forcing people to switch to electric-powered vehicles.

But Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP Nick Clegg’s office has said the ideas are not coalition Government policy.

Coun Bryan Lodge, Sheffield Council cabinet member for finance and former cabinet member for transport, said: “We have no proposals for congestion charging in Sheffield. What we are trying to do is strike a balance between the needs of motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and bus passengers.

“It’s ironic the Lib Dems accused us of being anti-car.”

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, added: “We need to develop our city centre, and anything at odds with that is probably not a good idea.”

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Lib Dem leader on Sheffield Council, said: “People only have to look at parking fee hikes and the mess in Woodseats to know Labour are anti-car councillors.”

What You’re Saying Online

Should Sheffield bring in a congestion charge?

Tom Jones: If you want to put the final nail in Sheffield’s coffin, by all means press ahead with congestion charges.

Mike Halsey: No, parking restrictions should be eased quite a bit but more of the main centre should also become pedestrianised.

Trevor Staniforth: I don’t believe it!

Kevin Cawthorne: No. If the council hadn’t spent the last few years being obsessed with narrowing city centre roads and putting traffic lights every 50 yards, traffic would flow better.

Fraser Warburton: No way.