Call for 'balance' on changes that could lead to Norwich congestion charge

A big increase in traffic in Norwich. Pictured is the A146 Barrett Road from the Tuckswood roundabou

A congestion charge for Norwich is mooted in a strategy for transport. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The possibility of congestion charging or workplace levies in and around Norwich needs to be weighed up carefully as part of moves to cut carbon emissions, councillors have said.

People can currently have their say over a blueprint for the future of transport in and around Norwich - known as the Transport for Norwich Strategy.

Norfolk County Council officers acknowledge "potentially difficult choices" lie ahead over cutting carbon and improving air quality.

And that means the council will need to consider whether it would "wish to adopt a strategy with the potential for introducing restrictions on vehicles, or certain types of vehicles, to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions."

A London-style congestion charge and workplace levies - a charge on employers which provide workplace parking - are both listed in the strategy as "interventions" which should be further considered.

The proposed strategy came before members of Norfolk County Council's infrastructure and development select committee on Wednesday (September 15).


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And Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton, said: "I think it's critical that we strike the right balance between encouraging sustainable growth in the Greater Norwich area and being tougher over our responsibilities to tackle climate change in a responsible way.

"We want to continue to see Norwich as a good place to do business and to encourage diversity and variety to keep our High Streets thriving.

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"But, at the same time, I think it has to be a liveable city too and, being clogged up with vehicles is not going to deliver any of those ambitions."

Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

Brian Watkins, leader of the Liberal Democrats at Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Liberal Democrats

Mr Watkins said he wanted to discourage single occupancy cars heading into the city during rush hours.

And he reiterated previous calls for all Norwich streets, other than those on main arterial routes, to have 20mph limits.

Barry Stone, Norfolk county councillor. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Barry Stone, Conservative county councillor for Clavering. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Barry Stone, Conservative chairman of the committee and councillor for Clavering, said single car occupancy needed to be tackled.

But he said it was during rush hours that it was a particular issue, so there could be a case for different approaches at different times.

A survey on the strategy, at www.norfolk.gov.uk/tfnstrategy, is open until October 8 this year.

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