Getting it wrong on Manchester’s Congestion Charge

Well buried beneath the ongoing MPs’ expenses scandal is the great news that Manchester has secured a £1.4bn investment in its transport infrastructure. Yippee!

I was never enthused by the congestion charge. I don’t think pricing poorer people off the roads is the way to go, but I voted yes because it was to unlock Transport Innovation Fund money and it was hard to imagine the city securing a similar level of investment any other way. And having voted yes, I was very disappointed to be on the losing side.

But this plan, drawn up after the city so forcefully rejected TIF, appears to deliver the key benefits for less than half the price. It really is difficult to see what extra – apart from a congestion charge – TIF would have delivered.

That leaves me feeling very silly, especially given that Communique, the No Campaign’s PR agency, invited me to help them out and I turned them down. Now they’re up for a major award.

Manchester will finally get a decent public transport system, but the city will not be grateful. The investment clearly could and should have been signed off years ago, dragging the government kicking and screaming has been a costly exercise.

One thought on “Getting it wrong on Manchester’s Congestion Charge

  1. Well done for having the guts to admit you were conned. Please think twice before you go against your gut feel again!

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