Residents to take to the streets in protest against road tolls
20 June 2007

Thousands of angry motorists are expected to descend on Market Street, Manchester, on Saturday morning in protest against the city council’s plans to roll out pay-as-you-drive tolls onto the city’s trunk roads, and to turn it into a pilot scheme for national road charging.The plans would turn the 15 busiest routes in Greater Manchester, which extend as far out from the city as Wigan and Stockport, into pay-as-you-drive trunk roads. Motorists may have to pay to use them on a sliding scale, according to the time of their travel, the road they’re on, and the length of their journey.Back in January, Autocar.co.uk reported on the plan having been passed by local councillors, and proceeding to the public consultation stage. Now it seems a goodly portion of the public wish to make their feelings known about the plan.The demonstration, organised by the Association of British Driver (which was also behind the ‘go-slow’ on the M4 when speed cameras were introduced onto the motorway in 2006), will begin at 10am on Saturday June 23, on Market Street, Manchester. Organisers will also be asking those in attendance to sign a petition against the plans, which will be submitted to the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries told Autocar “Manchester’s councils have been promised money from central government in exchange for railroading through a hugely unpopular road pricing scheme.” “This will be hugely damaging to the interests of the people of Manchester. We hope that sufficient spirit exists in this great city to see these proposals for what they are - a piece of arm twisting by central government applied to the softest target - and to stop them in their tracks.”

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