Portsmouth council leader - road congestion charging ‘won’t happen on my watch’

Donna Jones
Donna Jones
Breakdown workers preparing to haul out of the sea one of the cars involved in an accident on the Havant by-pass

THIS WEEK IN 1970: Havant by-pass cars plunge into the sea

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THE leader of Portsmouth City Council has declared a congestion charge system will not be brought in while she is in charge.

Cllr Donna Jones spoke out after city traffic leaders revealed the initiative, which operates in London, could be a good way of easing pressure on the road network and ensuring motorists keep moving.

The controversial idea has generated heated discussion with a mixed bag of views for and against.

Today, AA road expert Paul Watters has given his take on the scheme.

Cllr Jones said she hopes it never happens and the city’s park-and-ride should be extended instead in order to cope with congestion.

‘It’s not going to happen while this administration is running the council, and I would never want it to happen,’ she said.

‘We’re continuing to look at ways of easing congestion and examining a number of different schemes.

‘We have the new park and ride, which is a great success and which we hope to expand when there is demand.

‘We have the park and sail in the summer.

‘A congestion charge is not on this administration’s radar and it will not happen on my watch.

‘We want people to come to Portsmouth and enjoy our amazing attractions and spend their money, not put them off.

‘Obviously, a congestion charge is one of the tools councils can consider when dealing with traffic problems. It may come up for discussion at some time in decades to come, but we have never said anything stronger than that.

‘It is not being considered as a possibility now.’