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Manchester rejects Congestion Charge

  • Voters throw out charging plans
  • Charge would have paid for improvements
  • Other cities eye Government's cash
Words By Jim Holder

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Voters in Greater Manchester have come out against plans to introduce a congestion charge in the region.

Nearly two million people took part in the vote.

Under the proposed scheme, peak-time drivers would pay 2 to cross the M60, then a further 1 to enter the inner-charging zone of Manchester city centre.

An extra two 1 charges would be levied to cross the boundaries heading out of the city.

Money collected from the project, earmarked to be introduced in 2013, was to be put towards transport improvements, including a 22-mile extension to the Metrolink tramline, improved bus services, 120 new school buses and the doubling of park-and-ride provisions.

The Government said it was willing to provide 1.5 billion through its Transport Innovation Fund, providing the other 1.3 billion is financed through the introduction of the Congestion Charge.

However, a majority of voters in all of the region's 10 boroughs voted against the controversial plans.

It means the application for the Transport Innovation Fund (TiF) cash will not go ahead.

Cities that may now try to take advantage of the Government's funding by introducing their own road pricing schemes include Cambridge, Bristol and Leeds.