Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

City residents react to 'no' vote

Anthony Tonkin
Anthony Tonkin voted no to the proposals
People in Greater Manchester have voted overwhelmingly against plans to introduce a peak-time congestion charge in the region.

It means the loss of a 2.8bn package of investment in public transport in the region but, as BBC News discovered, people in Manchester city centre mainly supported the result.

NO VOTERS

Outside the central library, design consultant Anthony Tonkin summed up the feelings when asked for his response to the rejection.

"Good," said the 33-year-old, from Worlsey, Salford. "My wife works at a nursery 100 yards within one of the charging zones.

"So, basically she works two miles from home, doesn't travel into Manchester, but just crosses a boundary slightly that would have cost her a fortune every year.

"The parents of the people who go to the nursery would be more inclined to take their children to another nursery if they get charged for crossing to drop their kids off, so that's why we voted no."

Mrs Sangster
Mrs Sangster branded the charge proposals "another tax"

Mrs Sangster, a trainee teacher from Rusholme, was similarly enthusiastic in her opposition.

She told BBC News: "I'm glad it has been rejected. I think its ridiculous. I mean what more do they want us to pay for? What do they want to do, bottle the oxygen as well and charge us for that?"

"They want to encourage people to come into Manchester but they want to charge us for it. And most of the charges end up affecting local residents who have lived here for a long time.

"I'm so pleased to hear that it has been rejected. We've got petrol going up, we've got insurance going up, we've got council tax, we've got road tax - we've got every other tax that there is going. So no, I don't think they should charge."

YES VOTER

In line with the referendum results, yes voters were thin on the ground. But city centre worker Andy Jones told the BBC he saw it as an opportunity missed.

"I am not happy - not happy," said the 26-year-old, from Chorlton, south Manchester.

Andy Jones
Andy Jones voted in favour of the proposals

"I am a big public transport user and it seems pretty short-sighted really."

Nevertheless, the bus user was optimistic that the politicians could get together and deliver the investment he said the transport system desperately needed.

He added: "I think they'll get some charges in one way or another and hopefully we'll still get some improvements."



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