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Pay as you go

Congestion charging to hit the city

Published on May 25th 2007.

Pay as you go

Congestion charging is making its way to Greater Manchester. This will mean that in rush hour, drivers will pay £5 a day in charges.

The scheme is to be planned in a way that an inner ring around the city centre will charge drivers wishing to pass through. The rate charged will vary as to which channel is used for crossing into the city. An outer ring will also be implemented, following the approximate route of the M60.

Officials are refusing to comment on the plans before a special meeting of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities today.

It is predicted that it will be put into place in five years and will cover all routes into the city. So no fooling the system then. Automatic number plate recognition cameras will catch the charge dodgers.

An electronic tag, which drivers will pay a deposit to receive, will go inside their windscreen. The tag will then be read by sensors along the 15 routes into the heart of the city. However, drivers using the roads outside morning and evening peak times will not be charged.

Greater Manchester is competing against nine other authorities, including Birmingham, for Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) money from the government. The bid for the £1bn fund will get the full backing from the special meeting of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities today.

The charging scheme will pave the way for congestion charging to be brought in across the country. If successful, it is expected to bring in £118m a year and this will be spent on public transport. However, before then £3bn is expected to be spent on Metrolink extensions, new trains and bus lanes using the £1bn TIF money and a further £2bn to be borrowed against the charging revenues. There are also plans for the testing of a satellite based charging system whereby motorists pay for exactly the number of miles they travel.

Congestion charging: the answer to traffic control or not? Have your say.

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

IanMay 25th 2007.

Motorists already pay congestion charges, it's called fuel duty and VAT.The more you drive the more you pay. This is yet another tax from an out of control Government. The people who voted for a Labour Govt should hang their heads in shame.

MoanerMay 25th 2007.


Mr VirileMay 25th 2007.

Emma, would you like me to assist you with your plan?!!!! :)

Debbie - BoltonMay 25th 2007.

I used public transport up to 4 weeks ago when they (GMPTE) took away my one and only bus, I have had to buy a car - will I be paying the charge? I don't think so, will I be challenging and contesting it? definitely! YET ANOTHER STEALTH TAX - welcome one and all to "RIP OFF BRITIAN"

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

As a none driver, I believe this is slightly out of order....this city council is making me less and less proud to be a mancunion...

LizMay 25th 2007.

I think there must be better ways than this - it is alright for those who can charge it out to companies but for the everyday resident of Manchester that is a huge expense. If we had the network of tubes like London it may be a different story but since we don't a re-think is needed!

Rob Adlard - Conservative City Centre SpokesmanMay 25th 2007.

Labour's Poll Tax. I'm lucky that I live in the city, walk to work and don't even own a car, but I think Jim is mistaken - an extra £100 per month travelling costs is a lot to most people.Ive been campaigning against the Congestion Charge for a year now. Congestion is a problem, but this is a poor solution, here are some reasons why:1. Its not a green tax. The charge doesn't actually take car journeys off the road, its simply a local tax2. The green solution is light rail, which has been proven to take car journeys off the road. The funding the Conservatives put in place for a large metrolink system was removed by Labour, and now this is a blackmail-tax to get some of it back.3. The metro extensions will still fall short of the original vision after the charge, and the extensions won't be complete (if ever) before the charge - its already more than 10 years late!4. Independent research has proved small and independent businesses in London suffered a great deal from their charge.5. Public consultation and approval was meant to be a key condition of introducing it. The council resists our efforts for a referendum on the charge - they're aware that people in Edunburgh got their charge proposals thrown out after successful protests.6. Much congestion is caused by buses, which even block the trams - how is it going to work with even more buses? Traffic will rise anyway, what do we do, simply keep adding to the charge until nobody can afford to drive into or live in the city centre?7. After the London charge was brought in, the government reduced its subsidy to Transport for London to equal the money they thought was generated by the charge, so effectively the city didn't benefit from the money it produced. We can expect the same here.8. Its not a huge hand-out from anyone, its a multi-billion pound loan from the government which we have to pay back. Our city will be mortgaged to the hilt, with its source of repayment being the untested congestion charge. We have no certainty of being able to pay it, what if we end up having to subsidise payments through out council-tax?9. A great deal of congestion is caused by things the council does, such as closing roads, making roads pedestrian only (which it wants to do more of)poor traffic lights, narrow roads. Where's the cycling policy in all this?10. The one certainty with the charge is that the prices will go up, and the area to be charge will grow larger.

Daren HMay 25th 2007.

Isn't it about time that the powers that be remember that we put them in power to look after our interests, rather then finding new ways to move us into an Orwellian state, where our movements are tracked and monitored, and we are charged for the basic right of freedom ? Maybe if the trams and buses were better, less crowded and cheaper people would be more inclined to use them, as it is the tram is a nightmare at commute time. To tax drivers to 'improve' public transport is backwards, surely it would be better to improve the public transport system to a point where the public in general want to use it ?

gorMay 25th 2007.

sort the public transport out first then!!! I cannot get to Manchester on a train from Ashton for 9am. the 2 carriages from huddersfield are always full already and drive straight through.its not like we have an alternative.

Sarah JonesMay 25th 2007.

So that's an extra £100 a month for me to get to work from Salford -Wilmslow-I don't think so!-I'll leave my job first!

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

What about the poor sods that have to drive in to work in order to drive public transport. Are they going to be exempt from charges.

Jimbo 4WDMay 25th 2007.

Come on guys, where is your concern for the environment - less cars, more tax, its the new way - get on board, its just a fiver. Jim

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

We all need to make a stand against this charge. It is a tax on the poor and a restriction on your right to move. To implement this every car will be monitored it will be a police state, they will no your every movement. There is no proper public transport in place to use as an alternative. If Labour force this through let it be their poll tax. I for one will not pay.!

SteveMay 25th 2007.

I think it's a great idea. I'd happily pay £5 a day if it halved my journey time to work.

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

What is happening to our City? We have so many problems which are just being left without what seems any solutions. In a report recently released our councillors had some of the largest expense accounts in the region. Whilst our police are unable to cover the Greater Manchester area competently enough to release figures, where we have problems with refuge -bins being collected now only fortnightly, streets are lined with litter, road are full of potholes, crime is on the increase or so it seems...the list is endless. Where exactly do my taxes go because it's beyond me? With regards congestion, I don't believe our council have tried alternative methods to help combat the issue of congestion in the city, they've sat for years without improving the tram services, reducing the cost of public transport and making bus stops and tram stations safe. Bus lanes to be shared by people willing to car share should have been created years ago, rather than spending money on a smart car to police them. Instead like every other issue raised with the government, the only answer anyone seems to come up with is too slam a tax on it. Well done for being innovative hey! When will this government realise that all they are doing is making life so much harder, not only for the low income families but for everyone from companies based in the centre, to delivery men, families, singles. With regards public transport the streets in Manchester are still not safe enough, twice in the past few months I've been harrassed whilst waiting for a tram. As for the councillors they'll be alright when this new charge comes into play as it will be ourselves, with another increase in council tax that will pay for them to get into the city!!

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

come on manchester lets stick toheather and tell these idiots where to go 1200.00 a year on top of all the other costs to run a car what a joke if we let them get away with this what next a tax on fart gas.councillors wont pay they will claim it on expenses.im a bus driver and i feel sorry for most of my passengers sitting next to some of the scum we get on buses at least im behind a piece of glass.look at the situation the council have caused this problem,speed humps,speed cameras,rds down to one lane,bus lanes that are a waste of time immigration out of control they have caused it and want us to pay through the nose i dont think so up yours labour im not paying your poll tax

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.


AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

My daughter has just moved to Carrington about a quarter of a mile from the M60. If these charges are introduced I will not be able to visitunless some kind person out the can tell me how to get there from Bury without going on the chargeable roads.We pay enough tax'es, It's about time these so called councilors managed our money as if it was theirs. Because I'm sure they don't throw their's away. So why should they use ours as if theres no tomorrow

Peter from didsburyMay 25th 2007.

What congestion ? If I take the bus from Didsbury to the City Centre it takes 40 minutes, when I drive its 20 minutes. The congestion isn't in the Centre its on the periphery.

tyldogMay 25th 2007.

they can stick their new tax up their arses! im not paying it.

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

when do you now a politician/councillor is lying when his mouth moves enough said?

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

Some professionals will be badly hit,since they are required to drive as part of their job. Often cars are used for travelling to places where transport is not well developed like villages and charging those living in the city for visiting areas with underdeveloped transport facililties is not helpful. I think like in Canada, where environment conservation already influences public life to a vast degree one should think of other more useful measures, such as educating people to use cycles for short journeys, particularly in the summer, improving cycle tracks around the city. Encouraging healthy lifestyles (perhaps through fashion statements) such as jogging to work, living close to work & using cars on weekends, and most importantly encouraging people to work from home (particularly in the city). Innovations in the way we work, utilizing the improvements in IT technology, rewarding those who minimize car usage, rather than through a punishing strategy (payment schemes) will be the ultimate way forward. May Manchester lead the way!

JudeMay 25th 2007.

I agree we are already being taxed on our road useage via petrol....this is the only fair way to tax people for their useage. In all major European cities trams, buses and underground systems are very cheap, often one price for all distances.....that keeps cars off the roads and makes life cheaper. We do not have a viable alternative to the car in this city on most routes. Whats next, window tax?

HannahMay 25th 2007.

I can think of at least 5 family members/friends who will be put out of business within the year

emmaMay 25th 2007.

Think I'll sell what little I own of my House. Get my self pregnant a couple of times, give up work and let the government support me. T At 28 I dont know why I didnt think of this at an earlier age.

Whalley RangeMay 25th 2007.

In principal i am happy get drop the car for the bus, BUT that means i have to get the 86. Which drives past my bus stop full and does not stop until 9.15am!!!

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

i for one wont be paying labours new poll tax 1200.00a year.im already paying to use the roads ie fuel tax road tax tax on insurance tax on mots,enough is enough.you can stick this up your arse labour.

chorlton chrisMay 25th 2007.

Have the people complaining about public transport even read the article?? If this gets the go-ahead, then £3 billion will be spent upgrading public transport across Gtr Manchester. That's a transformation that just would never be possible without the funding that this plan gives.And it isn't meant to just raise revenue - the idea is to change behaviour. To get people to use public transport and change their driving patterns. This isn't possible for eveyone, but enough will change to stop gridlock and make Manchester look less like enlarged provincial town and more like a proper 21st century city.

ClawsieMay 25th 2007.

Go to Helli am so furious.......!Those of us that live out in the sticks and commute into town each day.... in order to miss the "charging timeslots" its going to mean having about 4 hours sleep.... very productive!!

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

i think this aidea is rubbish! i live in sale only 10 mins from the city centre and would not be able to afford to go to work. i understand that it will reduce congesion but public transport is so unreailable and too expensive. so may we should look at reducing the fee to public transport or maybe having a reduced fee for city workers

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

they should introduce an integrated transport policy before they introduce congestion charging. I think it is another form of taxation and they will not use the money to improve the transport infastructure

AnonymousMay 25th 2007.

This is ridiculous - I live 4 miles from the city centre so I'm supposed to pay every time I leave and re-enter my own home!?! The monitoring of your activities is against your human rights. I would rather leave Manchester so basically this tax will force me to leave my home which I love. Thank you Government for another obstacle in an already impossible world...

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