Friday, 20 July 2007

Public support congestion charge

THE people of Greater Manchester have backed plans for congestion charging in a crucial opinion poll.Some 5,000 individuals and 1,000 employers were surveyed on behalf of council chiefs as the cornerstone of their make-or-break consultation on proposals to charge up to £5 a day at peak times in return for £3bn of cash for public transport.The results were due to be released by pollsters GfK NOP on Monday - but the M.E.N. has obtained a leaked copy of the findings.We can reveal that 57 per cent of residents agreed with the principle of paying charges in return for the £3bn package of investment, while only 32 per cent disagreed. And a majority (53 per cent) agreed with the proposals when they were told that the charging levels would be up to £5 a day, against 40 per cent who disagreed. Most of the councils have thrown their weight firmly behind the idea, although there had been speculation both Liberal Democrat-run Stockport and Conservative Trafford had been considering voting "no" on July 27. That could prove difficult given the findings of the poll.The bid would be for a £1.2bn grant from the Transport Innovation Fund, plus permission from the Government to borrow £1.8bn to complete the extension of the Metrolink light-rail system and provide hundreds more buses and trains. The £1.8bn would be paid back out of the proceeds of the congestion charge over the next 30 years.The charge would be made up of two rings, one roughly parallel to the M60 and another closer to Manchester city centre. Motorists would pay £2 for crossing the outer ring and £1 for crossing the inner ring, inbound, from 7am-9.30am, on weekdays. The outbound charge would be £1 for each ring and apply from 4pm-6.30pm.

More than half of the people living in Greater Manchester support congestion charging, according to a new survey.
After being given details of how peaktime road-charging will work, and a £3bn investment in the city's transport system, 53% supported proposals.
The poll was commissioned by Greater Manchester's councils and 5,000 residents were questioned.
Councillors are due to meet next week to decide whether to proceed with the government's plans.


Tameside Citizen said...

This new stealth tax is so unpopular amongst virtually everyone I know that I have difficulty accepting the findings of this survey. I would suggest that the questions were very heavily loaded in favour of the answer the councils behind this wanted, or that the people questioned were actually related in some way to the project, possibly council employees, and they gave the answers they were expected to.

tonydj said...

Perhaps "Ann of Ashton" and all her Florida pals have been surveyed!

tonydj said...

If my earlier comment is mystifying you check this out:-