“Valleys Tax” claim denied as Cardiff unveils congestion charge plans

(Title Image: Cardiff Council)

Cardiff Council has denied claims from opposition parties and within Labour that plans to introduce a congestion charge for non-Cardiff residents were a “tax on the Valleys”.

The proposal forms part of a transport white paper (pdf) published last week, which proposed £2billion worth of infrastructure investments and incentives to get people out of their cars over the next decade including:

  • A “Crossrail” and circle line tram-train system linking western and eastern suburbs, including new South Wales Metro stations at Crwys Road, Ely Bridge, Loudon Square and Roath Park.
  • Supports the development of a Cardiff Parkway station at St Mellons.
  • Establish a cross-city bus rapid transit network, including a new circular route.
  • Completion of a network of segregated cycle lanes by 2022 and expanding the Nextbike bike hire scheme by 2000 cycles.
  • Introducing a default 20mph speed limit, a smart traffic management system and the aforementioned £2-per-entry congestion charge for non-Cardiff residents (from 2025).

While the ambition was welcomed, Alun Davies AM (Lab, Blaenau Gwent) and Dr Hefin David AM (Lab, Caerphilly) both expressed reservations that their constituents would be paying for a (Labour-run) Cardiff Council policy.

These claims were denied by Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr. Huw Thomas, who said: “What we would be doing is putting in place alternatives to using the car, and have this go live before any charge came into place.”

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