Cornwall visitors to pay £10 'congestion charge'?

Visitors to Cornwall could be charged £10 toll

Updated: 
Cornwall to introduce £10 toll

Cornwall should introduce a £10 visitors' toll to deal with its £196 million cash shortage, says a local comedian.

Kernow King, real name Ed Rowe, suggests the measure as a way to tackle the £196m budget cuts that are happening between now and 2018.

The cuts could see the disappearance of the tourism body Visit Cornwall, as well as cuts to the fire service.

According to the West Briton, he said on Facebook: "Our dosh keeps the roads in a good state of repair, lifeguards on the beach, toilets (mostly) open, the hedgerows looking pretty etc. Why not introduce a 'Visiting Car Charge'? London has the congestion charge, why doesn't Cornwall do something similar."

He suggested using car scanning technology to levy a £10 charge to people visiting Cornwall.

He added: "This would generate millions wouldn't it? It's not about being greedy anymore, but sorting our Cornwall out. I don't think visitors would have a problem - I checked out some quotes for hotels end of August and some were eye-watering."

Many readers agreed it was a good idea, and pointed to hotel tax in places like Barcelona, which does not appear to put people off visiting.

However, one man, Bill Quinn, was more cautious: "£10 is not a massive amount, and many would pay without thinking. However for those more budget conscious you have North Devon and Dorset in close proximity and competing for visitors."

Back in 2011, Cornwall council floated the idea of taxing every visitor who stays in the county £1 a night, arguing that it could raise £26 million a year and help improve the area for both tourists and residents.

At the time, many Cornish hotel owners, bed and breakfast owners and holidaymakers expressed their fury over the plans.

However, the idea was rejected this week as the council said it could not legally enforce the charge.

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