Manchester's bid for a £1.2 billion grant from the Government to implement its controversial congestion charging scheme was submitted yesterday – but full details of how the scheme will work are not expected until the end of the year.
Officials plan to introduce two rings of charging points around the city centre. It will cost either £1 or £2 to cross these points between 7am and 9.30am, and 4pm and 6.30pm, with a maximum charge of £5 per day. However, further details such as what – if any – vehicles will be exempt from the charge have not been revealed.
'Details like that are still being looked into and we won't have any final answers until Manchester and central Government have agreed their plans,' said a spokesman for the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). 'Once agreed, there will be a 12-week consultation period while the finer details are sorted out.'
At present, it has only been confirmed that Hackney Cabs will be exempt from charges. Plans to reduce or waive rates for low-emission vehicles are being discussed, however, with speculation suggesting that charges could be scaled to make higher-polluting cars pay more.
If approved and funded, the scheme is expected to begin in 2012.
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