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Make Cambridge cyclists pay congestion charge, says transport expert

City Deal vice-chair reveals advice - which county's cycling champion describes as "ludicrous"...

A transport expert has recommended that cyclists, as well as motorists, should be subject to any congestion charge introduced in Cambridge – the British city with by far the highest proportion of people riding bikes for everyday journeys.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Roger Hickford made the revelation today at a meeting of the Greater Cambridge City Deal, of which he is vice-chair.

Local campaigner and citizen journalist Richard Taylor was present, and relayed the councillor’s comments on Twitter.

At present, the identity of the expert, who apparently made the recommendation during the consultation process, is unknown; has looked through the responses that have so far been made public but we have been unable to find any such reference.

Another county councillor, Noel Kavanagh – who is Cambridgeshire County Council’s cycling champion – described the suggestion as “ludicrous.”

Jon Vale, politics correspondent for the newspaper Cambridge News, was also at the meeting, which he described as both “fascinating and bonkers.”

Mr Taylor also made his views on the issue clear.

The Greater Cambridge City Deal, established under a government initiative to invest in the regions, covers the Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council areas.

Focusing on innovation-led economic growth, issues it is addressing include provision of housing and other services for a part of the UK that is expected to see some of the strongest population growth over the next couple of decades, plus how people will move around to get to work and places of study.

Part of that has included consultation on whether Cambridge should join London and Durham in introducing congestion charge, and if so, which model should be adopted.

As to the issue of which mode of transport is most responsible for congestion, an iconic photograph commissioned by the German city Münster in 1991 (see Bikehub for the background) reveals it isn’t those who travel by bicycle or on the bus.

Munster 1991 bike car bus.jpg


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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