Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Common sense from Trafford Conservatives
C-charge: Trafford votes no
TRAFFORD council is to vote against congestion charging at a meeting of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities on Friday.The Conservative borough’s executive has decided not to back proposals to charge motorists up to £5 a day to get in and out of Manchester.Hundreds of Trafford residents have voiced concerns about the scheme in a series of consultation meetings and an online poll.Businesses in Trafford are also said to be against the proposals.Cllr Matt Colledge, Trafford council’s deputy leader and the borough’s representative on Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority said: “Trafford has been the champion of full and proper consultation and we have received appreciation from our residents and businesses for it.“We’ve even had people from other boroughs applauding the approach we have taken.Satisfied “We are satisfied that our decision reflects the views of businesses and residents in the borough.”He added: “Throughout the process, we have been assured that any bid would require unanimous support in order to go ahead.“We are adamant that current consultation does not provide a mandate for a congestion charge in Greater Manchester.”AGMA is expected to vote on Friday whether to put forward a bid for the government’s transport innovation fund but leaders voted at a recent meeting to allow majority decisions to count.AGMA launched its own consultation exercise but Trafford’s conservative leadership paid for its own and leaflets were delivered to homes by volunteers.
Well done to Trafford. Let us hope Tameside Council take note and abandon this blatant Labour stealth tax. Did you know they have plans for even further taxation planned on top of the outrageous C-Charge? Read on for more information.
C-charge: Where next?
TOWNS around Greater Manchester could be hit by individual road pricing schemes - on top of the congestion charges planned for the city.Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Ashton under Lyne, Stockport, Altrincham and Wigan have been earmarked by transport chiefs for `potential future charging schemes'.A separate scheme could cover roads around Manchester Airport.The `localised' zones, which would not be seriously considered for at least five to 10 years, would be on top of the charge of up to £5 a day for crossing two charging zones around Manchester.Roger Jones, chairman of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority, said the `localised' zones would become a reality only if they passed the same `stringent tests' as the proposals for the city.These include being acceptable to business and the public and not hurting the local economy. Coun Jones said: "As the necessary public transport becomes available, and if congestion grows over the next five to 10 years to such an extent that the economies of some town centres are harmed, new charging areas could be added to provide a comprehensive solution to allow our city region to continue to grow."
Disaster The plans already face opposition from local government chiefs. Matt Colledge, deputy leader of Tory-run Trafford council, said a charging zone around Altrincham would be a `disaster'.He said: "I believe that any future charging zone around the centre of Altrincham would be a disaster for the town. Any such proposal would be rigorously opposed."Rochdale's Alan Taylor said major investment should make it unnecessary to introduce local congestion charges.Dave Goddard, leader of Liberal Democrat Stockport council, said they were concentrating on whether to support plans for congestion charging in Manchester.A spokesman for Manchester Airport said: "Traffic congestion is a real issue for airport access, which is partly why we introduced changes to collect arriving passengers last year. "We are aware this concept may be more widely applied in the future."A Wigan spokesman said: "Better alternative public transport must be in place before charges are considered here, and charges can only be introduced where congestion exists."
Argument Nick Peele, from Bolton council, said: "There would have to be a very strong argument for it in Bolton and at the moment there is not."