The City of Edinburgh Council is developing a transport strategy based on the introduction of a congestion-charging scheme, linked to the implementation of a major package of transport improvements. A phased consultation approach is being used to allow public views to form a major input into the transport strategy design process. The overall objectives of the consultation in relation to the major project milestones are discussed. The results of each of four completed consultation phases are presented, along with how these results have been used to narrow the range of potential transport strategy options to one preferred congestion-charging scheme design and associated transport improvement package. The results of the completed consultation phases have shown that public views on different elements of the transport strategy design range from a high degree of consensus to a considerable degree of diversity. It has been found that the level of charge is the most significant factor in determining the level of public support for a particular congestion-charging scheme, with the lowest charge levels invariably receiving the greatest level of support, even when this is associated with a smaller transport investment package. In general, the consultation results have shown that there is significant in-principle support for a congestion-charging-based transport strategy but that support tends to decline as the strategy becomes more accurately defined. A major challenge appears to exist in retaining in-principle support through to project implementation.
From Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1839, Washington D.C., 2003, pp.89-97. Posted with permission of TRB.