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Would Aberdeen benefit from a new congestion charge?

Would Aberdeen benefit from a new congestion charge?

An Aberdeen councillor has raised the idea of a congestion charge being introduced to try and ease traffic gridlock in the city.

John Corall, the SNP's spokesman on infrastructure, was responding to news of Swedish architect Bjorn Siesjo visiting Aberdeen later this month to advise the local authority on how Gothenburg has been transformed into a vibrant city with effective transport links.

Mr Corall claimed the council had to "show a willingness to embrace imaginative solutions" to tackle the problem.

These include congestion charges, a policy which has been implemented, with varying degrees of success, in cities such as London, Singapore, Stockholm and Milan.

The notion was controversially rejected in Edinburgh in 2005, prompting a change of tack from the council there, which eventually saw the creation of an expensive and much-delayed tram network.

But would a congestion charge succeed in Aberdeen?

There was no great enthusiasm for the suggestion when STV Aberdeen approached several Aberdeen councillors today.

The SNP's Callum McCaig said: "I can't see it happening. It's just a non-starter.

"I can't see anybody doing it. But I think it's fair enough to look at what Gothenburgh has done and they have a pretty decent city centre."

Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Greig added: "The congestion charge has worked very well in London.

"But you are looking at a city which is on a totally different scale from Aberdeen.

"We already have a variety of measures [such as fines for motorists who infringe on bus lanes], but if we were to proceed with it, we would need to do a lot of research in advance."

Meanwhile, Labour council leader Jenny Laing sat on the fence.

“We have taken the view that congestion charging should only be considered as part of a national strategy," she said.

“We wouldn’t want to see our region put at a competitive disadvantage over other cities and regions in the country.”

  (STV)
via STV via STV

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