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Hundreds gathered on Sunday to oppose plans to introduce a £5 congestion charge in Cambridge reliable

Protesters rally against city congestion charge

Hundreds of people took part in a rally to protest at the planned introduction of a congestion charge in Cambridge.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) has proposed a £5 charge for private vehicles between 07:00 and 19:00 on weekdays, to be introduced by 2027-28.

It said the funds raised could be used to improve bus services and cut traffic by half.

It was the second demonstration in the city in the past three months, with another taking place in December.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership - a body which includes three local councils, businesses and the University of Cambridge - has proposed a "sustainable travel zone", covering most of the city.

The GCP predicts it will rise £50m through charging £5 for cars, £10 for vans and £50 for lorries.

The scheme has three main aims; to improve the bus network through more services and cheaper fares; to increase sustainable travel options such as better walking and cycling links and; to impose a road user charge to reduce air pollution and cut congestion.

Dan Lentell, an independent councillor at South Cambridgeshire District Council, took part in Sunday's rally.

He said: "There are workplace parking levies. There are all sorts of different options that don't place the burden on the poorest and sickest in society."

Sharon Williamson said: "To have to rely on buses to do anything you want to do in Cambridge, to go grocery shopping, to go to a shopping centre, to go to a garden centre - it's just not feasible."

Neil Mackay, from Cambridgeshire Residents Group, said: "Find another way, there is another way. I personally have a preference for a tourist tax.

"We're not going to give up - we simply cannot.

"We cannot allow it to happen. It would be a disaster for Cambridge."

Almost 28,000 people have signed a petition against the plans.

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