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CBRE Bristol urges caution over proposed city congestion charges14th May 2013

Philip Morton, the Head of Agency and Development at Bristol property consultants CBRE is urging caution and debate after it was revealed that Bristol’s first ever elected mayor George Ferguson has asked for council officials to carry out a feasibility study into introducing a London style congestion charge for motorists in the city centre.

Philip Morton believes that the city’s business community needs to be fully consulted before any final decisions are made. “There is no doubt that one of the biggest issues for the city is traffic congestion and the lack of a city wide public transport system. If we want Bristol to be a proper, business friendly city then we need to do everything we can to make sure that businesses already based here and firms looking to relocate can go about their work efficiently and profitably.

“A congestion charge could be partly solve the issue, but there are also other options being considered. The most important thing is to make sure that the major employers and businesses in Bristol are fully consulted before any major changes are implemented, and given a chance to take part in the debate.”

A charge for motorists in the city centre has been on the local political agenda before but was never implemented. A scheme to charge firms who provide parking spaces for staff was also dropped due to lack of support from the business community. The funds raised from such a parking levy had been earmarked to help pay for the proposed rapid transit system.

“Bristol is in a great position in terms of wealth and the strength of the local economy to establish itself as a major regional hub when the economy starts to recover from the recession. Mr Ferguson has always been quite clear that he wants Bristol to be seen as one of the best places in the country to do business and he should be applauded for that stance. We all need to be working together to make sure Bristol is a major economic power house not just in the South West but in the UK as a whole.”

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