Proposals for congestion charging in Greater Manchester (sometimes called the Manchester Congestion Charge) is part of a bid to the Government's Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) for a £3 billion package of transport funding and the introduction of a road congestion pricing for Greater Manchester, a metropolitan county in North West England. Unlike the current version of the London scheme, two cordons will be used, one covering the main urban core of the Greater Manchester Urban Area and another covering Manchester City Centre.
The reason for introducing the charge, apart from reducing demand for road space in central Greater Manchester and congestion, is to help pay for improvements to public transport with £3 billion in the form of a grant and loan, in particular for the Manchester Metrolink expansion.
- Manchester rejects green transport revolution, December 12  "But Manchester's loss could be another's gain. Government cash is still up for grabs and local authorities across the country now have the chance to bid for their own low-carbon transport systems." Tony Bosworth, FoE
Why residents should vote ‘yes' Edit
The coalition - Friends of the Earth, the Campaign for Better Transport, Greenpeace and Asthma UK - are encouraging residents to vote ‘yes' in the current (November 2008) referendum. They say the proposed measures will tackle a number of problems
- Congestion: Greater Manchester is the most congested city in the UK outside London, and the proposals would reduce traffic levels by up to 15 per cent.
- Climate change: traffic is responsible for over a fifth of UK emissions of carbon dioxide, the main climate change gas. The proposals will help cut emissions by giving Manchester a top-class public transport system and improving facilities for cycling and walking.
- Asthma: The North-West has the highest emergency admissions in the UK and parts of Greater Manchester have some of the highest emergency admissions for children in England. For example Oldham has admissions more than twice the national average and Manchester has admissions 68 per cent above the national average.
- Other health problems: The measures could save up to 100 lives a year through better air quality and bringing about higher levels of physical activity.
- Social exclusion: the measures will improve access to services and jobs for those without a car - a third of households across Manchester and up to 60 per cent in the most deprived areas.
The groups support the use of peak-time congestion charging as part of a package of measures, with revenues used to secure investment in:
- Improved public transport: including extensions to the Metrolink tram system; new railway stations and bus interchanges; extra buses, trams and train carriages; bus lanes and bus priority corridors; and integrated public transport ticketing.
- Better facilities for cycling and walking: including more safe routes to schools; more cycle lanes; making streets more attractive places to walk and the introduction of low cost short-term cycle hire in two urban centres.
- A package of measures including travel plans and better travel information: known as ‘Smarter Choices' and targeted at different levels (residential, businesses, hospital staff etc) to encourage people to change how they travel.
Related topics Edit
Related Wikipedia content Edit
- The congestion charge in context with the wider improvements proposed as part of the TIF bid.
- Clean Air Now (CAN) - coalition of independent campaign groups in favour of the proposed congestion charge.
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