Jenny Willott campaigned hard to oppose Cardiff Labour's plans to introduce a congestion charge to the city centre.
Councillor Ralph Cook, the Labour cabinet member responsible for Transport at the time, asked for information on the pros and cons of introducing a congestion charge, amongst a whole host of other proposals, to raise revenue for major infrastructure improvements in Cardiff. One suggestion was that the charge would apply to motorists living outside of the city boundaries, who would drive into the Welsh capital during peak hours. The aim would be to encourage motorists to use different modes of travel during busier periods, such as public transport.
The idea of a congestion charge was not present in the Labour manifesto for the council elections in May 2012.
Cllr Ralph Cook said,
"Cardiff's road capacity is not full at all for the majority of the day, but in certain particular times of the day it is fairly chocker.
"It gives a poor impression and has economic consequences," he said.
"I've told them I would like them to consider the issue of whether the congestion charge could be not imposed on people with a Cardiff postcode," he said.
"My initial impression would be that it is applicable for all roads crossing into the county from outside. I would imagine it would be on the Newport boundary, the northern boundary and the western boundary.
"That's the way I think, but I might get a briefing telling me we should only apply it here or there because it would be most effective."
The previous Labour administration, chaired by Cllr Russell Goodway, had considered a similar proposal in 2004. That proposal was dumped when Liberal Democrats seized control of the council.
Following a vigorous campaign, utilising literature, petitions and social media, the Labour administration were forced to renege on the idea.
Jenny Willott was delighted with the U-turn, for which local activists campaigned.
"This is an example of practising what we preach; the Liberal Democrats are working hard all year round, listening to and taking up the concerns of local people in
Cardiff. The congestion charge proposal proves how out of touch Labour are: in tough economic times it is simply not right to add to the burdens of hard-working