Road charging increase opposed

Conservatives in Durham City have launched a petition against any moves to increase road charging in the city.

Conservatives in Durham City have launched a petition against any moves to increase road charging in the city.

A £2 toll was introduced to drive on cobbled streets around the cathedral and castle in 2002.

But Durham has now signed up to the Government's transport innovation fund, part of which will involve looking at whether further charges should be introduced to tackle congestion. An online petition has now been set up by the local Conservative Party - which has no councillors in the city - in an echo of a national anti-road pricing petition on the Downing Street website which has attracted 1.6 million signatures.

City of Durham and Easington Conservative Association chairman Michael Smith said: "We want solutions to Durham's congestion problems which offer genuine attractive choices for visitors and residents. An integrated transport system starting with excellent public transport is what we believe in and want to see.

"With a Lib Dem city council and Labour county council both loving to tax first and think later, we are determined to ensure that motorists are not priced off Durham's roads because that wouldn't help the environment and it wouldn't help our city's economy." A Durham County Council spokeswoman said: "We will be looking at all alternatives and options during the summer prior to consultation in October."

The Conservatives' petition is at www.ipetitions.com/petition/durhamsaysno.

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