Almost 90 per cent of residents oppose the introduction of a congestion charge in Cambridge, according to a survey conducted by South Cambs MP Anthony Browne.

The plans by Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) would see drivers charged £5 between 7am and 7pm on weekdays.

New zone charges would cover the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, which is home to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Royal Papworth Hospital and the Rosie Maternity Hospital.

Royston Crow: South Cambs MP Anthony BrowneSouth Cambs MP Anthony Browne (Image: Courtesy of Anthony Browne)

Mr Browne's survey - which was handed out to households as well as online - was the largest ever conducted by Mr Browne's office, with 3,190 responses so far.

Of these, 89 per cent said they did not support the current proposals, with just six per cent in favour and three per cent unsure.

While Mr Browne is a Conservative MP, groups from across the political spectrum have indicated their disapproval - with 78 per cent who identify as Lib Dem supporters opposed to the charge, and 84 per cent of Labour supporters.

The largest point of disagreement was the inclusion of Cambridge's hospitals, as 89 per cent said they felt the hospitals should not be included in the charging zone.

More than 70 per cent of respondents also disagreed with residents paying a full charge, and with all workplaces being included in the zone.

Residents also called for exemption and discounts, with more than 75 per cent supporting total exemptions for healthcare workers, NHS staff, hospital patients and visitors, unpaid carers and people with disabilities.

Over 60 per cent supported full exemptions for residents, pensioners, public sector staff and local small businesses, with 59 per cent supporting exemptions for families with children.

Of those who answered the question, 26 per cent said they would never use a bus to get to work, regardless of frequency, while 46 per cent of those who would use a bus said they would need a bus to be every half hour or more frequently.

Seventy-four per cent of respondents disagreed with the GCP's rationale that a charging scheme is the only way to fund better public transport in Cambs.

Mr Browne said: "This is the largest survey I have ever conducted – and I have received the most emphatic response. The vast, vast majority have said no to the congestion charge."

Greater Cambridge Partnership is currently running a consultation on the proposals, which is due to close at midday on December 23.

As currently proposed, there would be some exemptions to the charge, including for those using A&E.

Low income discounts are proposed, but would be means tested and exemptions on medical grounds would require assessment.

According to the proposals, the congestion charge area would create a Sustainable Travel Zone, which would see faster, more reliable and cheaper bus services.

The GCP also plans to invest in other sustainable travel schemes, such as better walking and cycling links.

If the plans are approved, the zone would be fully operational in 2027/2028, but only once the first bus improvements are introduced.

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