R4U opposes Greater Cambridge tax on residents visiting regional hospitals

The Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) administration at Uttlesford District Council opposes the boundary of the proposed Greater Cambridge Congestion Zone as it will in levy a ‘tax’ on those visiting the important regional Addenbrookes, Royal Papworth and the Rosie Maternity Hospitals.

Greater Cambridge is a government funded partnership operated by Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and the University of Cambridge. They are proposing to implement a ‘pay to drive’ congestion zone around the city. Controversially, the boundary has been extended to include the medical campus for Addenbrookes, meaning that regional visitors to hospitals on that site would pay £5 a day to access healthcare.

Maggie Sutton (R4U) Maggie Sutton (R4U)

R4U’s Cllr Maggie Sutton, UDC portfolio holder for Communities said “Let’s make no bones about it, this is a tax on the ill, infirm and their carers. The proposed boundary is designed to specifically include the Addenbrookes, Royal Papworth and the Rosie Maternity Hospitals campus. There is no valid reason to include these regional hospitals that are actually located on the outskirts of the city.”

Cllr Sutton added “Greater Cambridge claims that the charge is needed to deal with ‘poor air quality and high carbon emissions’, but every air quality report in the last 5 years has shown that this is not a problem around the hospitals. Do they really expect patients with infections, having premature deliveries, or undergoing cancer treatment to take a bus from the Park and Ride? Further, the many delivery vehicles servicing the NHS would pay between £10 and £50 a time. The NHS is supposed to be free at the point of care, and this smacks of trying to profiteer off those in medical need and increasing the costs of running the NHS.”

Cllr Sutton concluded “At Residents for Uttlesford we are strong on environmental issues and support sustainable travel, but there is no evidence to show that those having to attend the hospitals from outside of Cambridge cause a significant problem. It seems that this is all to do with Greater Cambridge making money. Our administration does not agree with the proposed boundary and so UDC has written to formally oppose the boundary proposals. We urge all local residents, neighbouring district and parish authorities to do the same.”

The Greater Cambridge consultation ends at midday on 23rd December 2022 and details, including a brochure, maps and FAQs, can be found at the links below the map image on this page.

Consultation responses and comments can be emailed directly to consultations@greatercambridge.org.uk

Greater Cambridge proposed Congestion Charge area map

More information

About Residents for Uttlesford