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2008: The people say no

Map of the proposed congestion charge for Manchester

As suggestions go, the Congestion Charge for Greater Manchester never looked like being a popular one.

Proposing two rings of charging around the central city, the idea was to charge motorists using the county's roads in order to help finance a complete overhaul of the area's public transport service.

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The main thrust was a massive extension to the Metrolink network, to take the existing service out to places like Oldham and Rochdale in the north-east and to Manchester Airport in the south.

After much debate and many voices making arguments both for and against it, the decision on whether to take up the charge was placed in the hands of the people who would pay it, as Greater Manchester's voters said 'yes' or 'no' in a referendum.

Nearly two million people were asked to decide and a massive majority of voters in all of the region's 10 boroughs voted against the plans.

In total, there were 812,815 (79%) no votes and 218,860 (21%) in favour of the charge, meaning over half of everyone who could vote decided to have their say on the issue.

As a result, the charge was not taken up and the area's councils have had to find different ways of financing public transport updates.




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2009: Hooray for Hollinwood
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