Manchester votes against congestion charge in referendum
12 December 2008

Residents of Greater Manchester have voted against the proposals for a congestion charge zone covering the whole of the city.

Plans for a two charging rings encircling the city centre and following the M60 orbital road were rejected by 79 per cent of voters.

Nearly two million people were sent ballot papers on the charge, and 53.2 per cent opted to vote on the controversial scheme.

Motorists entering the city were polled on the proposed charge of up to £5 for entering the charging zones. A majority of votes was required in at least seven of the 10 boroughs for the scheme to be passed, but pro-congestion charge campaigners failed to win over a single borough.

The referendum, which also included plans for a £2.75bn investment in the city’s pubic transport network, took place over two weeks.

Supporters of the scheme had argued that it would pave the way for other cities, including Leeds and Bristol, to introduce a charging structure.

George Barrow

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12 December 2008

Can't find the actual numbers anywhere... was it 51% No / 49% Yes? I suspect it was probably hugely No.

I admit I don't know all the issues here, its not my area. But as a very basic core right, I would have be horrified if someone decided that if I would have to pay to go from my house into town shopping between certain hours - when people in Birmingham, Leeds, Brighton, Lincoln etc did not. (no sympathy for London - you majority voted for Ken originally its your bed to lie in)

I know the master plan would have been to role it out everywhere soon after, a few figures spun up like Ken used to - "traffic is 7% down so it must be working" (more like 0.7% last time I drove into central on the A4)

For the work I do a car is the only way, even if trains had beds, cost 10p, ran every 2 minutes and had topless Baywatch girls as porters no way I am going to get to where I need to go with 60kg of stuff on trains and taxis. Some of us have no choice so how can charging ever be fair?

12 December 2008

Similar to you, I do not know all the issues, but people who work in Manchester do not all live in Manchester City Centre and thus have to travel; this can be from areas that are rural and if its like where I live, the buses run less than one per hour and stop at time 5:20pm.

Thus if you worked in the local city and get the train into the town (to get the bus home) cannot get home! would have to catch the train at 4:30pm and thus leave work every day at 4:00pm.......I cannot do that.

I think (I could be wrong) London has a great public transport system, if you are inside the M25 you pretty well covered, the tubes run while late and regular, the buses run late and regular the over ground trains run regular (not sure if they run late).......other cities and the areas surrounding them do not have those luxuries.

12 December 2008

[quote North]

Thus if you worked in the local city and get the train into the town (to get the bus home) cannot get home! would have to catch the train at 4:30pm and thus leave work every day at 4:00pm.......I cannot do that.


Anyone understand that ? Anyone ?

12 December 2008

[quote Steve Steele]Anyone understand that ? Anyone ?[/quote]

Hi Grettel; I will clarify and make it as simple as I can for you:

If you work in the local city (the city local to where I am) you would have to catch the 4:30pm train to get to the bus station (in the local town) in order to catch the last bus at 5:20pm to get home; therefore to catch the last bus you need to leave work at 4:00pm each day........I really cannot make it simpler than that without pictures and props!

I did say in the paragraph above the item you quoted in the original text you quoted from, that the last bus leaves 5:20pm; as I have referenced to you before, you really need to ready things; but fair play, if in doubt ask!.......found this for you .......have fun Grettel!

12 December 2008

A very silly idea to put this to a public vote. Unless of course the council most definitely wanted the idea put to rest.

Apparently about 75% of people that voted were against the idea. Suprise surprise, people vote to not pay for something that was 'free'.

The general public should only ever vote on representation. Not on policy! And yes, I am a member of the general public.

I live and drive in London and feel that the C-Charge has overall been a positive step. At the very least it gets the topic in peoples minds. Some people will explore alternative transport methods/systems in the city because of it. The money gathered can be invested in alternative schemes without impacting on anything else.
If we want these sprawling cities then we need to accept they require a significant investment in their management at many different levels, especially transport.

12 December 2008

Why should we the motorist have to continue forking out ridiculous ammounts of money that never get re-invested in the road network. Its just an easy target for shortfalls elsewhere and this is yet another example. I NEED my car for work there are no 2 ways about it that public transport is not an option. Also I live in Greater Manchester and can tell you public transport is often not the most pleasant or safest way to travel, I'd much rather sit in traffic than take the bus (which is never on time, slow and stinks of urine). Manchester's traffic issues are no where near as bad as London, the congestion charge was just an easy way for the government to pass the cost of (trying) to improve public transport at the motorists expense.

Rant over

12 December 2008

[quote pSynrg]The money gathered can be invested in alternative schemes without impacting on anything else.[/quote] Consider this. The London C-Charge raised £64m in profit from tolls and £74m in profit from fines in 2007-08. The expanded London bus service - which is undoubtedly impressive - requires a subsidy of £620m or so each year. (The national rail network gets around £5bn subsidy). The problem with providing really extensive public transport provision is that it is fantastically expensive. That's why the Manchester scheme was 10 times the size of London scheme - the amount of money needed to really improve public transport is significant. And there's one other massive flaw in c-charging. It requires that the vast majority of drivers keep driving and keep paying the tolls. If they don't, you'll raise very little. Ironic, really.

12 December 2008

Trying something out is a lot more progressive than just saying no. I'm not for a minute under the delusion that 'realpolitik ' is not without its flaws and significant disappointment. I really am no greenie (I drive a 20mpg, 3.0L V6) but I do think we are kidding ourselves that we can take the existing infrastructure for granted without attempting to invest in better systems.
Although London's public transport network is reputedly better than most others in the UK I chose instead to commute by cycle (a door to door 50min public transport journey is turned into a 20min bike ride as well as being free of charge).
A majority of drivers WILL keep driving - in that I have no doubt and as driving ones car is gradually becoming a luxury our civilisation cannot forever afford, we need to find answers of improving to do it.
Saying no is not that answer...

12 December 2008

79% against. 54.3% turnout. The "Yes" campaign are apparently blaming the low turnout (which isn't bad for a local, postal vote) for the result, without seeming to understand they didn't make their case, or that even with a 100% turnout there was just as likely to be a vote against than for.

No doubt Manchester City Council will take the result in the best of EU tradition and ask the question again, and again, and again until they get the answer they like.

12 December 2008

Not really a surpise. My guess is that city traffic will hover around the edge of gridlock for ever. Many cities in developing countries have horrendous traffic jams but people will put up with it. With luck the cars will gradually become more ecological and perhaps be designed to resemble the living rooms that they've become, like the Nissan Cube. I've just bought even more flashing lights for my bike so I can survive in the spaces between the stationary cars.

In my dream world euro 4 and 5 cars would only be allowed out on sundays to do "club runs" to track days at their local circuit.


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