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Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
Based on the early consultation with stakeholders described above, the City of Edinburgh Council decided to start the development of a “New Transport Initiative” (NTI) in May 1999. Its aim was to take an imaginative approach to providing Edinburgh with a ‘world-class’ transport system that could sustain and facilitate the potential for economic growth, as well as being appropriate to its role as a major international city and Scotland’s capital. In so doing, the transport strategy would support Council aims of:
The conclusions drawn from the consultation and an initial technical appraisal were that congestion charging was feasible, would reduce traffic levels, could generate substantial revenue for transport investment and would have no or very limited adverse economic impact if the charge was set at an appropriate level. In addition, there was a high degree of acceptance provided that the overall package was right. This gave the Council confidence to develop the proposals in more detail. The Scottish Executive agreed to match fund the development studies, with some further funding provided by an EU research project “PRoGRSS”.
The evolution of the scheme between this point and the referendum in February 2005 broadly followed the guidance on development of an Integrated Transport Initiative (ITI) issued in August 2001 by the Scottish Executive1]. This included a two-stage decision-making process, with “in-principle” and “detailed” approvals required from Ministers for an ITI. As well as requiring technical appraisal (STAG2]), the guidance sets out four policy criteria that Ministers require a charging scheme to meet:
To meet these requirements and ensure effective delivery if eventually approved, the development of the scheme from inception to the detailed, charging order, stage had to consider and balance technical, organisational and acceptance issues. Accordingly the main work streams were:
Consultation with the public and stakeholders was essential to assist scheme design and aimed to maximise the acceptability of the proposals. It also provided the opportunity for informing the public about the objectives of the scheme. A comprehensive programme of consultation and market research was developed for the Council by the University of Westminster3]. The programme built on the initial consultation undertaken in 1999 and was supplemented by direct discussions with key stakeholders. Neighbouring local authorities were particularly important in this respect, particularly in regard to their concerns about the impact that an outer cordon would have on their citizens. The most recent market research illustrated in Figure 3 was carried out in Autumn 20034].
1] DAVID SIMMONDS CONSULTANCY in collaboration with MVA, Edinburgh Integrated Transport Initiative: Economic Impact of ECCS/ITI Package, Cambridge, March 2004.
1] SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT, Delivering Integrated Transport Initiatives through Road User Charging – Consultation and Approval Process: Guidance for Local Authorities, Edinburgh, August 2001.
2] SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE, Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG), Edinburgh, September 2003.
3] UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER, PrOGR€SS project: Public Consultation Strategy – Phase II: Preparatory Market Research, London, July 2001.
4] UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER, PrOGR€SS project: Edinburgh’s Integrated Transport Initiative – Phase V: Market Research, London, January 2004.
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