Anger over road congestion charges

Date published: 15 February 2016

EU plans involving introducing congestion charges in every UK town and city have been lambasted by MEP Paul Nuttall.

Under guidelines from Brussels, local authorities are being told to introduce congestion charging to enable Europe to achieve its target on climate change.

“Not content with driving a horse and cart through democracy they are driving us further up the wall with their diktats and here they are using road users as cash cows,” said Mr Nuttall, North West UKIP Euro-MP.

“This particular piece of ruling by stealth is already underway as five British cities were recently revealed as set to have clean air zones by 2020 - and that is only the beginning.

“It is all very well for a Department of Transport spokesman to say the government has ‘no plans’ to extend air quality zones to include private car drivers but we all know that when Brussels says ‘jump’ our lily-livered government just asks ‘how high?’

“This is being done in the name of global warming but it is just nonsense and all their banning and bullying won’t make a difference to climate change,” said Mr Nuttall.

The recommendation for congestion charges for private cars is included in a guide for local and regional authorities on how to implement its Europe 2020 strategy, which is committed to reducing greenhouse emissions by at least 20 per cent, compared to 1990 levels, by 2020.

The guide sets out how local authorities can play “an important role” in collecting charges and said it was important “to ensure that local or regional taxes or charges are consistent with wider objectives”.

“Outrageously it also includes introducing bin taxes,” said Mr Nuttall, UKIP deputy leader.

The guide tells councils to introduce charging for commercial and domestic waste collection and disposal saying that it has “the advantage of ensuring the sustainability of the service and sending out a clear economic signal to polluters.”

“Bin taxes have no place in this country and would cause financial hardship to the law abiding and fly tipping would proliferate.

‘We must be free to make our own decisions about how to run our own country and there is only one answer, leave the EU,” he said.

The guide, the Handbook on the Europe 2020 strategy for cities and the regions” is produced by the European Commission’s Committee of the Regions.

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