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Beppo
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Government backing for a Greater Manchester congestion charge would undermine Labour support in the area, an MP from the party has warned.

Plans for a two-ring scheme, charging up to £5 to enter the city centre at busy times after 2013, are expected to be set out on Monday.

The charge would be offset by £3bn of public transport improvements.

But Manchester Blackley Labour MP Graham Stringer said the move would alienate voters in marginal seats.

'Political suicide'

He told BBC1's The Politics Show: "To have a Labour government, you have to have an alliance not only of core Labour voters but of people who, before 1997, in constituencies like Bury North and Bolton West didn't vote Labour.

"The congestion tax is another pressure on that coalition. It is another wedge that will break that coalition up and make it much more difficult to deliver a Labour government."

The road pricing scheme would make Manchester the first provincial city to follow London in introducing a congestion charge.

The plans involves two charging rings, one at the M60, the other close to Manchester city centre.

Manchester Central MP Tony Lloyd said congestion on the roads was causing environmental and health problems and could cost the city 30,000 jobs in the next decade if not addressed.

Congestion is bad for businesses and people's quality of life

Department for Transport

He said the charge would be payable only at the busiest times of day and would affect just a fifth of Greater Manchester drivers.

Conservative leader of Trafford Council, Susan Williams, said the scheme was "political suicide" for Labour.

However, the leader of Manchester City Council. Sir Richard Leese, said the scheme was in the long-term interests of Greater Manchester and that Labour would be rewarded at the ballot box for its "strength of purpose".


Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly is expected to make an announcement at Westminster on Monday morning.

The Department for Transport has declined to say whether the bid would be approved but said: "Congestion is bad for businesses and people's quality of life.

"We are making £200m a year available through the Transport Innovation Fund for councils who want to tackle local congestion by making improvements to public transport as well as managing the demands on their roads.


"Greater Manchester has submitted a bid for this fund, which we will announce a decision on shortly."

Two rings

The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), which has proposed the scheme, said no congestion charge would be brought in before "significant improvements" had been made to bus, tram and rail services.

Once it did come in, drivers would pay a deposit for an electric tag, which would trigger charges on journeys into the city in the morning and evening rush periods (between 7am and 9.30am and between 4pm and 6.30pm).

There would be separate charges for crossing the outer ring, roughly following the M60 motorway, and the inner ring, roughly following the inner relief road around Manchester city centre.

Proposed charges for the scheme, which could be subject to inflation, are £2 to cross the outer ring heading towards the city centre in the morning, plus an extra £1 to cross the inner ring, then £1 to cross each ring heading out of the city in the afternoon.

Between 9.30am and 4pm there would be no charging. Weekends and bank holidays would also be exempt.

The proposed public transport improvements would include:


Metrolink extension to Rochdale and Oldham town centres, Ashton under Lyne, East Didsbury, Manchester Airport and the Trafford centre
Second Metrolink route across Manchester city centre
Priority for buses on several major roads
Extra carriages for rail services
Stations including Bolton, Salford, Altrincham, Stockport, Ashton and Rochdale, to become "interchanges", linking into other types of transport

Stockport, Trafford and Bury councils are no longer supporting the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) bid.

Councillors in Bolton, meanwhile, have promised to hold a public referendum on the issue once all the facts are available.

A public consultation process will be launched across Greater Manchester if the government approves the scheme, with the AGMA convening later in the year to vote on the proposals.

In the short term Liverpool's swanky new shopping centre might benefit from a Manchester congestion charge, but in the long term 3 billion pounds worth of investment in public transport on top of their tram system shows more favouritism for New Labours favourite poodle.

As for whether we should follow suit, well in my view it shouldn't even be on the table without an equivalent 3 billion assurance, but I would prefer it to never happen here, it would cripple struggling businesses. The only good thing to come out of this is that tax obsessed Labour Party is gonna lose masses of support in its heartlands.:banana:
 

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Why would Liverpool One benefit from the Manchester congestion charge?

Do you think many people go shopping in Manchester between 7am and 9:30am on a weekday morning that will switch to Liverpool One?

Surely the much more accessible city centre, and the fact that you won't pay on the weekend, or after 9:30am will be of massive benefit to Manchester City centre?

Have a look at www.unitedcity.co.uk, the companies in favour of the bid are those in Manchester city centre, such as the Arndale.

Please explain this link to Liverpool One benefitting, I really don't get it.
 

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I think that it will have a negative impact on Manchester's economy. Maybe they ahve truly kidded themselves that GM is a big city, rather than a collection of cities and towns, to which commercial activity can move. It will not be negative for GM and I don't think Liverpool and L1 etc would benifit, but it WILL, in my view aadversely impact teh economy of downtown Manchester!
 

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Tony - if you look at GMMG and UnitedCity, those opposed to the plans are those inside the M60, but not in the city centre, like Peel.

Those in favour are the city centre businesses.
 

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Sorry, should have explained, GMMG is Greater Manchester Movement Group - i.e. businesses opposed to the bid.

UnitedCity is a group of businesses that are backing the bid.

GMMG is made up of businesses from Trafford Park etc (Peel and their car reliant chumps).

UnitedCity is made up of businesses whose employees and customers are already reliant on public transport, i.e. those in the city centre.

Google there websites to see what I mean.


Oh, and isn't this exactly what we want for our cities?

The ability to raise money locally, and have much greater control over our transport systems?
 

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Poor politics backed by pop science lies behind this. People already pay a congestion charge that is fully adjustable dependent on road conditions and traffic flow i.e. the inordinate fuel tax and excise theron. A bit of education about the cost per mile for travelling in certain road conditions would not go amiss. Tying funding to compliance to poorly thought out ideology is a real sham.

Manchester, as other Cities, deserve this level of funding and more simply based on the revenue garnered from motorists using their road networks already. The Government are playing their usual game of smoke and mirrors to avoid the issues of real governance of this countries transport infrastructure.
 

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Poor politics backed by pop science lies behind this. People already pay a congestion charge that is fully adjustable dependent on road conditions and traffic flow i.e. the inordinate fuel tax and excise theron. A bit of education about the cost per mile for travelling in certain raod conditions would not go amiss. Tying funding to compliance to poorly thought out ideology is a real sham.

Manchester, as other Cities, deserve this level of funding and more simply based on the revenue garnered from motorists using their road networks already. The Government are playing their usual game of smoke and mirrors to avoid the issues of real governance of this countries transport infrastructure.


That may well be the case, but the question I always ask on the Manchester forum is this...

Would you be happy with a transport infrastructure that we are going to have following Phase3a (Metrolink extension) in 30 years time?

If yes then fair enough.

However, if no, then how do you suggest that we pay for those improvements? The budget of £700m / year for the regions in England, which is set for the next decade is not going to fund anything like I'd want for the city, and to be honest, with such meger investment, congestion is going to become a huge problem.

It's a decision that is being made locally, just exactly as it should be.

If those in Liverpool don't think it's suitable for their city, and they are happy to try to raise funds in other manners then fair enough, but if £3bn of transport investment is worth a £5 / day (maximum) congestion charge, then it's for the Manc's to make that decision.
 

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Sorry, should have explained, GMMG is Greater Manchester Movement Group - i.e. businesses opposed to the bid.

UnitedCity is a group of businesses that are backing the bid.

GMMG is made up of businesses from Trafford Park etc (Peel and their car reliant chumps).

UnitedCity is made up of businesses whose employees and customers are already reliant on public transport, i.e. those in the city centre.

Google there websites to see what I mean.


Oh, and isn't this exactly what we want for our cities?

The ability to raise money locally, and have much greater control over our transport systems?
as I said mate, perhaps there is a little bit of delusion that manchester really is a mini version of London?

we will only find out for sure once it has been going for a few years.
 

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Nothing to do with London.

Take the Arndale, something like 85% of it's customers, and a similar amount of the people who work there get there by public transport.

Now, given our public transport is shit, and will massively improve, places like the Arndale have got a huge potential for growth.

I'm not being funny here Tony, but I think the businessmen who back the bid, and the Chambre of Commerce, may have a slight better understanding of the MAnchester (and region) economy that you do from afar.
 

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That may well be the case, but the question I always ask on the Manchester forum is this...

Would you be happy with a transport infrastructure that we are going to have following Phase3a (Metrolink extension) in 30 years time?

If yes then fair enough.

However, if no, then how do you suggest that we pay for those improvements? The budget of £700m / year for the regions in England, which is set for the next decade is not going to fund anything like I'd want for the city, and to be honest, with such meger investment, congestion is going to become a huge problem.

It's a decision that is being made locally, just exactly as it should be.

If those in Liverpool don't think it's suitable for their city, and they are happy to try to raise funds in other manners then fair enough, but if £3bn of transport investment is worth a £5 / day (maximum) congestion charge, then it's for the Manc's to make that decision.
Mostly my point i.e. the level of Government funding comparable to revenue raised is exceedingly poor. I agree that with the current Government the options for non London Cities, and the inter-connection thereof, in this country are extremely limited and fair play for Manchester for trying to play the game and taking a punt on this system. I personally am appauled at the rediculously fatuous game that is currently being played from central Government not by Manchester trying to make the best of a bad bunch.

It will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few years and hopefully in the not too distant future the political will to effect real change will become more prevalent.
 

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Quite right TIF. This is why I wrote 'I think' and 'we will only find out for sure once it has been going for a few years'!

One thing is for sure is that I am glad Liverpool hasn't applied for the conditional grants.
 

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oh, and ideologically, I'd have thought the scouse seperatists would be all in favour of this type of scheme?

Why should the people of Devon pay for a tram line in Manchester that they'll never use?

Transport improvements like this are essentially about promoting the LOCAL economy, and in my view those that will benefit should pay.

If 'Manchester' wants to invest heavily in transport then Devon should not pay, Manchester should.
Likewise, if Devon doesn't want to invest heavily in transport, then those in Devon should have the lower costs associated with that choice.
 

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oh, and ideologically, I'd have thought the scouse seperatists would be all in favour of this type of scheme?

Why should the people of Devon pay for a tram line in Manchester that they'll never use?

Transport improvements like this are essentially about promoting the LOCAL economy, and in my view those that will benefit should pay.

If 'Manchester' wants to invest heavily in transport then Devon should not pay, Manchester should.
Likewise, if Devon doesn't want to invest heavily in transport, then those in Devon should have the lower costs associated with that choice.

Well said TIF.......Indeed why should thousands of families pay extra for transport provision they will never use let's ask them shall we. Maybe a consultative referendum wouldn't go amiss The higher costs on family budgets and council tax need to be approved by the electorate. Don't you think?
 

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jets - the man who never answers an questions asked of him.

Think I'm going to start doing just the same (until you start answering questions that is).

You must be happy though?

I know I am, especially having spoken to people 'in the know'.
 

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Will be interesting to see what happens, a govt minister is to announce something tomorrow on Manchesters TIF.

Lets hope they don't further squeeze the rest of the non-TIF paying countrys transport schemes, and channel the money to Manchester. How much will Manchester TIF raise per year.
 

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jets, you know what



pictures like that not only make me think about how much improved the transport system in Manchester is going to be in 4 years time, but it also warms my heart knowing just how upset people like yourself are at the prospect.
 

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Will be interesting to see what happens, a govt minister is to announce something tomorrow on Manchesters TIF.

Lets hope they don't further squeeze the rest of the non-TIF paying countrys transport schemes, and channel the money to Manchester. How much will Manchester TIF raise per year.
The fine details are to be announced tomorrow.

Manchester will spend about £3bn over the next 3 years building the infrastructure, and then maintaining it over 30 years.

The £1.2bn from TIF and £1.8bn loan (re-paid via the revenue from the congestion charge over 30 years) is how it'll be funded.

From the Liverpool point of view, you do have to ask about funding of any major transport projects, with TIF being the government's only option, and now apparently a city about to adopt it, funding for anything other than posh buses will dry up in my opinion.
 

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Let's face it, Manchester is no London. It does not really want to pay for the daily charge and it does not really need it anyway. The journey to Manchester is hardly the road to hell.

A £3BN bribe to update the infrastructure was what has been offered. Good effort by the Mancs to have taken it up. I wish the doughnuts running our council had done the same to be honest TIF.
 
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