Manchester introduces congestion charging

first_imgAt 3.30pm today Transport Minister Rosie Winterton will confirm that 10 Greater Manchester councils had been selected to run the congestion charging scheme. The system, which is different from London’s congestion charging scheme, will charge motorists £5 entering the city centre during the rush hours between 7.00 and 9.30am and 4pm and 6.30pm. The charging zones will be positioned in two rings around the city where there will be a £2 charge when crossing the outer ring in the morning and £1 at night and a £1 charge in both the morning and evening for crossing the inner ring. Shoppers who drive into the city outside the peak hours and any motorist driving out of the city during rush hours will be exempted from the scheme. The charge will be introduced by 2013. As part of the deal the Government has granted a £3bn funding package from its Transport Innovation Fund where the councils will be given £1.2bn and a £1.8bn 30-year loan. Winterton said this money will be used to upgrade the public transport in the council areas including extra trains and buses and more bus lanes. It will also fund a major expansion of Manchester’s tram system. Opponents of the scheme have criticised the government of bribing the councils with the transport funding package. Trafford Council has opposed the scheme and its conservative leader Susan Williams it was ‘political suicide’ for the Labour party. Stockport and Bury councils also opposed the scheme but only 7 of the 10 councils were needed to approve the plans.last_img

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