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Durham rejects congestion charge extension

December 23rd, 2008
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Plans to build a new relief road for Durham and extend its existing congestion charge are to be put on hold.

The announcement follows a two-year study into options for addressing traffic management problems in and around the city centre. The Durham City congestion charge was the first to be introduced in the UK in October 2002.

Durham County Council leader Simon Henig said the construction of a northern relief road and widening the catchment area of the current road-charging scheme ‘will not be pursued in the short or medium-term’.

He added that a more inclusive congestion charge could deter people from visiting the city. Moreover, he added, neither option was likely to persuade people to adopt a more sustainable mode of travel, which was a key target outcome.

“Instead we are to re-focus our efforts on developing other solutions which we believe will still alleviate many of the city’s traffic problems and help us to create a more sustainable transport system within the city centre,” said Mr Henig.

Durham County Council was one of a handful of authorities which won Transport Innovation Funding (TIF) from the Department for Transport to help test the practicality and effectiveness of a range of solutions to current and future traffic congestion problems.

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