Groups call ‘Charge!’ as campaign is launched
A coalition of transport, environment, student and community groups are launching the ‘Get Edinburgh Moving’ campaign today to press for a ‘yes’ vote in February’s referendum on transport in the capital.
Campaigners have taken to the streets promoting the benefits as a result of a ‘yes’ vote in the debate over transport planning policies for Edinburgh’s future – policies which include congestion charging.
‘If we do not act quickly, and firmly, to tackle the rising tide of car traffic, the consequences for the city economy, for public health, and for social justice, will be severe,’ warned David Spaven of TRANSform Scotland.
And he added: ‘A successful city transport strategy needs improvements in alternatives to the car to be reinforced by road traffic demand management measures such as congestion charging, in order to lock in the benefits.’
Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Duncan McLaren pointed out: ‘In Edinburgh, air pollution from traffic causes around 240 premature deaths annually – if traffic and congestion are allowed to grow this will get worse, not better.
‘Those who suffer from the impacts of air pollution are predominantly the elderly and children: that is, not car drivers.’
Gary Glass of the students’ body People and Planet Edinburgh was just as adamant: ‘The evidence from our early campaigning shows that students are very positive about congestion charging.’
Paul Tetlaw of CRAG, Capital Rail Action Group said: ‘Edinburgh lags far behind its European competitors when it comes to rail based public transport.
‘Congestion charging offers the opportunity to create a long term funding stream to provide the transport system we all want.
‘We urge Edinburgh to vote in favour of this scheme so that we can create a quality city that people want to live in and that continues to attract visitors from around the world.’
Source: Third Force E-News