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City news in 250 words

<b>Wednesday 13 May:</b> Trams for Didsbury, Oldham and Rochdale, Blears pays back profits, world's fastest man in city centre sprint, and MEN to leave Spinningfields

Published on May 13th 2009.


THE APPROVAL OF THE TRAM LINE EXPANSION to Didsbury, Oldham and Rochdale will be announced later today by Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon at a meeting in Manchester. The £84m plans were put on hold when the congestion charge was rejected in December, but the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) gave the go-ahead on them yesterday. The plans also include a new bus station for Bolton.

MP FOR SALFORD HAZEL BLEARS says she'll pay back the £13,332 she made by avoiding paying capital gains tax when she sold her London home. Commenting on her decision, she said: “I see it’s not enough to say I complied with the rules because people just don’t accept that. It affected me personally, what people said in Salford where I and my family live.”

THE TRIPLE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST Usain Bolt will run in a 150m street race at Spinningfields on Sunday, as part of the Great Manchester Run event. Bolt, who is the world's fastest man ever, will line up against Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Marlon Devonish and other top athletes.

MEN MEDIA LTD HAS PLANS to move out of its headquarters in Spinningfields. Property Agents GVA Grimley said that 1 Scott Place, where MEN Media has a 22-year lease, is on the market. The annual rent bill is estimated to be around £2.2m. The move is part of a series of cuts being made by MEN Media after an 85 per cent fall in profits in the last financial year.

This 'n' That wisdom*: If you don't like beans, you shouldn't have opened the tin.

*Taken from the free calendar available at This 'n' That, Soap Street, Northern Quarter. Those curry masters are so very, very sagacious. How does this wisdom rate? Confidential rating: 9/10

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17 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

burt CodeineMay 13th 2009.

I've started using the bus into Manchester again (after a several years respite) during most of the week and I'm astounded how long it takes to get into Manchester (there and back and for pretty much any part of the day) from Didsbury/Withington. I quite like the independence and interaction public transport offers (and gives me the chance to catch up books, music and...erm Uni eye candy) but it's a bloody long journey (and I love how they keep the heating on full during the summer...very pleasant journey). A non rushed bike journey will get you in quicker.

DaveMay 13th 2009.

I got on a Stagecoach bus at the bottom of Seymour Grove the other night, going to the uni district to watch a gig. About 2 miles, maybe 3. £2.20!!! Even the driver seemed embarrassed, I haggled him down to £1.60 to go to "Hulme" but he let me stay on! The "magic bus" seems cheaper but I think the "magic" is that such crappy old buses are still on the road.

NeilMay 13th 2009.

What are the details for the Usain Bolt run? Is it a turn-up and watch type thing or would we need tickets?

EugeneMay 13th 2009.

£84M for the tram to be extended again to dids, oldham & rochdale...bargain!

ADMay 13th 2009.

Stagecoach are cheep! £11 for a weeks travel on any stagecoach bus is a bargain its plenty cheeper than many other cities. Plus you get the random pleasure of that crazy woman by the palace hotel getting on and souting about jack straw, I'd pay £11 for that kind of entertainment! bargain!

P DoffMay 13th 2009.

If Blears legally avoided paying Capital Gains Tax, why is she now paying it to HMRC? She should give it to charity eg 4evermanchester. She should not give it to the Government. If she avoided the tax illegally, she should be prosecuted.

east lancsMay 13th 2009.

It's only cheap if you live on a route with multiple operators! Stagecoach are evil monopolisers ;o)

JimMay 13th 2009.

hmmmm, are we going to see Confidential move into 1 Scott Place then?

Graham BallMay 13th 2009.

She needs the sack, two reasons:-1. She's a bit thick, taken her how long to realise hiding behind the rules not acceptable2. She has no moral fibre, any decent person would have realised what she was doing was blatantly dishonest

AnonymousMay 13th 2009.

Why extend the metro to Didsbury? I don't get it..... Surely the 42 route is already fast enough?

east lancsMay 13th 2009.

Blears proves how "down to earth" she is once again, by writing a cheque for £13k...

Disappointed of ManchesterMay 13th 2009.

Dave - if you used First Bus you'd already be paying (almost) £16 a week. They put the price up for a week ticket from £14 to £15.50 per week in January, an outrageous rise when you consider that First Manchester made a profit of something like £9m last year. Admittedly they cover a bigger area but a 10%+ rise in the ticket was ridiculous, especially when there have been no increases to the services. Still, it's cheaper than driving (just).

burt CodeineMay 13th 2009.

Even after Rusholme it's still a pain though. Coming out of town is just as bad - bottlenecks aplenty. I like the fact that I live in a busy city with such vitality (clearly not on the spectrum that the major capitals have, but still, more so than many other uk cities) but we simply don't have the transport to get us around efficiently and comfortably...it's cheap and frequent mind.

east lancsMay 13th 2009.

AD that's true actually. I do like the Megarider for that. I'm just vexed I left it at home today and have to pay £3.50!

NeilMay 13th 2009.

Answer my own question here... www.spinningfieldsonline.net/…/fieldsevents.cfm… It just says that he's running at 5.00. And the picture they use to illustrate the Manchester Run is of the Great North Run in Newcastle. Class.

P DoffMay 13th 2009.

If Blears legally avoided paying Capital Gains Tax, why is she now paying it to HMRC? She should give it to charity eg 4evermanchester. She should not give it to the Government. If she avoided the tax illegally, she should be prosecuted.

DaveMay 13th 2009.

Megarider was £7.50 only 4 years ago when I used to commute by bus, so that's a 50%-ish rise. Maybe it will be £16 in another 4 years time, if they manage to wipe out what remains of the competition. Now they have their greedy mitts on Metrolink too, so there will be little competition there either.

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