If Cambridgeshire County Council were to hold a referendum on the Sustainable Travel Zone, residents living outside the County who travel into Cambridge for work, education and leisure (such as those living in Haverhill, to give one example), would not have their voices heard.
This country works on the principle of representative democracy and local authorities use various consultation processes to engage with the local community. The Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) which has proposed this scheme is a body made up of elected representatives from three local councils (Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council), plus some university and business representatives. Only the elected representatives have a vote.
Across the UK many local authorities have had similar discussions about road charging, including London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Oxford and others. Following these consultations, schemes were implemented, amended or scrapped.