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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
City considers congestion charge
Congestion charge sign
Greater Manchester could trial the government's scheme
Manchester could soon have a congestion charge similar to London's, the city's head of transport has said.

Councillor Roger Jones, chairman of Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority, said the public transport system must also be improved.

"I'm continually being harassed by motorists telling me that they are in queues in the mornings," he said.

"Now we have got to do something about it." Londoners pay 8 to drive in the congestion charge zone.

Mr Jones said he had applied to the government for funds to conduct a survey into what kind of public transport would be best for Greater Manchester.

Metrolink axed

Three new lines were planned as part of the expansion of the Metrolink service - to Oldham and Rochdale, Ashton-under-Lyne, and to the airport.

But the scheme was axed in December 2004 when the Secretary of State for Transport, Alistair Darling, said he could not provide the 900m needed to complete the project.

The government has since said 520m will be made available for transport improvements - which could include Metrolink.

Metrolink is already one of the most expensive tram systems in Europe.

The government also plans to set up a "pay as you go" road charge scheme in a region or large conurbation as a pilot project in the next five years.

John McGoldrick, from the National Alliance Against Tolls, said a congestion charge would be a waste of public money.

"Despite the myths, the London congestion charge has had little effect on traffic but has hit shops and restaurants," he said

"It would be a self-inflicted wound if Manchester were to adopt it," he added.

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