Plans to charge motorists £2 a day to enter the city are currently being studied by the City of Edinburgh Council before its 'approval in principle' submission is presented to the Scottish Executive later this month. It is expected the Scottish Executive will then give its views on the proposal by the end of the year.
Revenue from the scheme, scheduled to be introduced in 2006, would be used to fund improvements to the transport system in Edinburgh and the surrounding area. Congestion charging is proposed in a report commissioned by the City of Edinburgh Council and produced by Transport Initiatives Edinburgh to reduce congestion.
Councillor Andrew Burns, executive member for transport at City of Edinburgh Council, said: 'It is clear that we need to address growing congestion and consider how we move people around the city. The status quo is simply not an option. With only the level of investment currently available, the impact we can make is marginal.
'The report underlines the need to take a long-term view to invest in practical solutions for the future, based on hypothecating congestion charging revenue to really meaningful transport improvements.'
From February next year, drivers will be charged £5 to enter London when the capital launches congestion charging. By 2010 fleets will be contributing heavily to a Government-estimated annual congestion charging bill of £1.2 billion. The Department for Transport anticipates that eight cities in the UK will have road-user charging schemes in place and 12 cities will adopt workplace parking charges within this timeframe.