Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialNews.

The Laz Word

This week: Larry Neild ponders Manchester's congestion charge and whether there will be spin-offs here in Big Dig City

Published on April 14th 2008.


The Laz Word

OUR brash, larger than life, European Premier League cousin, commonly known as Manchester, is on the verge of giving Liverpool a real leg-up. And about time too.

Perhaps it will be seen as a gift from the Mancs for our European Capital of Culture prize, or should that be booby prize?

Instead of heading
to Manchester,
visitors will flock in their thousands to congestion-charge-free Liverpool. Here, with all the roadworks, we already pay a Confusion Charge in extra fuel bills and wasted time

Their gift to their poorer relations, this end of the M62 will give Liverpool a much bigger economic boost than the CoC-up Year.

Manchester has moved into top gear to take the lead in the race to be the first provincial city to introduce a city centre congestion charge.

London has already got one, New Yorkers have just chucked out the idea of a £4-a-go levy to hit the streets of Manhattan, but the leading lights of Manchester are gagging for it.

Their main rivals, Birmingham, have just chickened out. Seems the Brummie city fathers spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness (well Spaghetti Junction actually) and saw the light - or was it the headlight. Whatever they saw, they have cooled on the idea of a congestion charge.

That makes Manchester the odds-on favourite. Manchester wants a congestion charge that will release £3 billion, much of which will be spent on a tram link to Bury, wherever that is. The iron-donkeys will shave 15 minutes off the time it takes to travel between Bury and Manchester city centre. That's great if you are a Buryholian, but useless if you live in Warrington or Liverpool.

I mean, would you pay £7.50 or whatever just to be able to drive into the centre of the European Capital of Converted Mills with its ambience and its cosmopolitan feel? Nah, I wouldn't pay either. They should be paying us to visit the Arndale Centre, not charging us upfront at the city centre gates.

I can't believe Manchester's civic rocket scientists think for one moment that congestion charging will be a winner with the population.

I even wondered whether a group of activists from the Liverpool Big Dig Popular Front infiltrated Manchester City Council to make sure the congestion charge campaign gains momentum.

I guessed it was the work of the LBDPF when I saw what was going on in Edge Lane. We all thought they were widening the lane to make it easier to get into Liverpool. They planted a few trees, threw up some trendy street lamps, kept two lanes, but beneath the surface the activists were tunnelling out towards Manchester to start their "Long Live The Congestion Charge" guerrilla campaign.

So instead of heading to Manchester, visitors will flock in their thousands to congestion-charge free Liverpool. Here with all the roadworks we already pay a Confusion Charge in extra fuel bills and wasted time.

What Liverpool needs to do is grab the opportunity and box clever to steal visitors away from Manchester. The Irwell will never compete with the Mersey as a backdrop.

But - and when you are writing about Liverpool, there is always an big helping of ifs and buts - the city needs to be more car friendly. They are about to bump up pay & display charges, currently 90p for half an hour. Heading to the new trendy multi-storeys is expensive for regular visitors.

So how can we reward our Manchester cousins for their folly? The day Manchester introduces a congestion charge, their city fathers should be granted the Freedom of the City of Liverpool. They can come over here for a do at the Town Hall, knowing they won't have to pay to get in.

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

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

Royal PhilApril 14th 2008.

Sorry Laz but you're completely wrong on this. If the Manchester scheme goes ahead (and that's a very big IF because of political pressures) it has the potential to be a major blow to Liverpool. Contrast a fast conurbation-wide tram system with our ramshackle public transport - no decent links to the airport or the arena for starters - and who in their right mind would choose to invest here?

eleanorRigsbyApril 14th 2008.

Why on earth would Liverpool need a congestion charge when it has something better, a city centre exclusion zone. Manchester needs it because people wanna go there. We have to drag people into our city by the scruff of their front bumpers. Long Live Cheshire Oaks I say.

Lord StreetApril 14th 2008.

What Liverpool really needs is better public transport. It is currently impossible to cross the city centre by public transport.A new main bus terminus should be built somewhere prominent and convenient such as the Pier Head. This would also attract commuters back to the ferries (assuming the abysmal bus “services” in Wirral could get people to Woodside in a reasonable time. Such a bus terminus would be extremely convenient for the large numbers of people attending events at the King’s Dock arena as well as all those working, shopping, and living in the city. Of course this is logical, isn’t likely to makes millions for a developer and makes sense which is why this shower of a Council will avoid doing it.

Chris PaulApril 14th 2008.

eleanor rigby is spot on. congestion is a sign of people wanting to be somewhere. and if the reward is enough the congestion (or the charge) is tolerated. if not they change their destination or time of travel.that is the point most people are missing. the charges are at peak time only to spread traffic out through the day. manchester will benefit economically as the breakfast, lunch, early doors and evening "services" will all expand and merge into all day and longer day trading.the alternatives to the charge do include relocation, and public transport, and changing times but the nuclear option of moving out of the zone won't trouble many.perhaps a few marginal city centre businesses that should be elsewhere anyway.for a lawyer charging £100-£200 an hour a couple of quid to get an easy transit into Mcr at 8 am is nothing. they save it by reduced journey time of one minute alone.

Lord StreetApril 14th 2008.

Hear hear, sir!

catch_22April 14th 2008.

I can't believe this tripe has been written by Larry Nield surely some mistake. Manchesters congestion charge isn't going to send hundreds of visitors to liverpool? Why on earth would it ? Business are moving to Manchester becasue its become an economic powerhouse generating 40% or our regions GDP compared to 19% for Merseyside.Tell me have thousands of businesses an visitors decided to up sticks to Gravesend rather than pay the congestion charge? NO! Why not ? Because they were going to London for a reason and a charge will simply change their mode of transport not make them opt for some 3rd rate back water. I love this city but the sooner we realise that we're not going to compete with Manchester then the sooner we can focus on with being something different but valuable in other ways. Manchester is bigger, geographically better placed, has a 10 year regeneration head start, decent leadership, less corruption and has established intself as a commercial centre. You know what fair play to them. Instead of carping about it, and fooling ourselves that in just a few more years we'll be better, lets make a decison to aim for something else, we could be the Brighton to their London, be more creative, vibrant, dynamic in fact be Liverpool. Instead we let our halfwit council leaders tell us that one day we'll be better than Manchester and so we let them destroy Liverpool and errect a poor imitation of Milton Keynes in its place. And the worst thing is that its not just our buildings and green spaces that the current city father (as if) are destroying, our dash for shiny glass and render flat pack buildings, most of which aren't fit for purpose the day they are opened, has created a 'loads of money' attitude in the city, it may be nearly 20 years to late but sadly Liverpool is becoming the last remaining vestiage of Thatcherite behaviour no where better exemplified in the attitude of our councillors!

lambananaApril 14th 2008.

This is a gift to Liverpool, if Manchester decide to go with the congestion charge. Businesses would relocate too. For example if a law firm is in Manchester City Centre, it's staff, clients, potential clients will all need to pay a little extra. Businesses will either need to pay somewhat more or move. London is different to Manchester, if want theatre, work in finance, media etc you have little option but to work and pay in London, whereas Manchester has nothing that cannot be relocated...

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
OR CREATE AN ACCOUNT HERE..
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Anonymous

Repeating,without any evidence the same point that socialism = public services is hardly…

 Read more
Anonymous

You absolutely right,I hate all these bloody nimbys stopping development and progress.Of course if…

 Read more
Anonymous

Manchester's size and climate isn't dissimilar to Rotterdam or Dusseldorf but the city is held back…

 Read more
Anonymous

Straying off the point again David, which is that investing in public services is socialist but as…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2017

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord