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Last Updated: Friday, 27 July 2007, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Councils vote for C-charge plan
Traffic on Oxford Road, Manchester
Fifteen main routes into the city centre will be chargeable
Council bosses in Manchester have voted in favour of pushing ahead with the controversial congestion charge.

The 10 local authorities met to decide whether to submit a bid for government transport funding, which would bring a charging scheme to the city.

The charge, which could be up to 5, would be dependent on a 3bn overhaul of public transport links.

Two councils, Trafford and Stockport, voted against the bid, while the other eight all voted in support.

Supporters of the charge say it is essential to the region's economic future, but opponents claim it would actually damage business.

The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) is to vote on whether to bid for 1.2bn from the government's Transport Innovation Fund (TIF).

Map of congestion zones

The cash would be spent on an extension to the Metrolink tram system and more investment in buses and trains.

The peak time road pricing scheme would involve two charging rings - one at the M60, the other close to the city centre.

Entering the outer cordon would cost 2, with a further levy of 1 to get into the centre. An extra 1 would be charged to leave each of the zones.

Drivers will pay a deposit for an electronic tag, which will monitor journeys on 15 main routes into the city in the busy morning and evening periods.

Stockport Council's decision to reject the charge followed a survey which found that 67% of Stockport residents and 78% of businesses did not support the proposed road charges.

'Sad day'

The leader of the council, Dave Goddard, said the decision was "a sad day for democracy".

He said: "The decision from Stockport is a resounding rejection of congestion charging.

"AGMA has worked on a consensus and today you've seen evidence of majority voting being allegedly allowed."

John McGoldrick, of Manchester Against Road Tolls, said: "Two of the councils have voted no.

Congestion sign
The charges would differ from the London system

"The scheme is now effectively dead as not even the government has the power to force any council to bring in road user charging."

"Though it is dead, it won't lie down, and AGMA, though they have no road charging powers are carrying on.

"Our campaign will therefore have to carry on until this road toll threat is well and truly buried."

Councillor Roger Jones, Chairman of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority, said: "Our bid makes its clear that any charging scheme would not be introduced on roads until those affected have a reliable, integrated public transport system available to provide people with a real alternative to using their cars.

"We have received a large volume of valuable feedback from the local business community and Greater Manchester residents, which we will now use to help shape the detailed nature of our full strategy."

Angie Robinson, chief executive of Greater Manchester Chamber, said: "AGMA has made its decision and we now wait to see if the bid will be approved.

"We look forward to further consultation and there is still a lot of explanation that the business community requires.

The final TIF bid is due to be submitted on 31 July.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Yes vote for Manchester congestion charge


Greater Manchester councils vote in favour of congestion charge


Opinions on the Manchester congestion charge



SEE ALSO
Is the C-charge right for Manchester?
27 Jul 07 |  Manchester
Authority says 'no' to road tolls
26 Jul 07 |  Manchester
Authority's support for c-charge
25 Jul 07 |  Manchester
Council opposes congestion charge
24 Jul 07 |  Manchester
Public 'back' congestion charge
20 Jul 07 |  Manchester
Congestion leaflet drivers 'fake'
09 Jul 07 |  Manchester

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