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Congestion charge for tourists visiting The Rock.

Alejandro Sánchez, mayor of La Linea, staked his claim to fame recently when he announced the introduction of a congestion charge for tourists visiting The Rock. Set to be implemented in October in time to catch tourists planning to enjoy the Spanish holiday-weekend, ‘El Pilar’, his proposed one-way €5 fee has received mixed reactions.

Local residents of La Linea will be exempt. Their main gripe, along with the rest of the drivers heading to and from ‘Gib’, is the queues. For some, support depends on their political leanings. The Mayor is a member of the opposition party and feels grieved by cuts in funds from the Socialist central government.

So what of the 30,000 native Gibraltarians? 'That question is still on the table,' said Sánchez. The prospect of adding €10 to weekend shopping trips or a meal over the border, ‘has gone down like the proverbial lead balloon’ says a reporter from The Mail on a recent visit to the garrison town where John and Yoko were married.

Jaded by queuing to cross the border to see the famous apes, the caves and the seascapes, she decided, ‘perhaps the best way to experience The Rock is on a cruise. Some 240 ships dock here annually and none of the passengers who disembark will have to pay Sánchez's silly tax'.

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