back to article Manchester's congestion charge: pay-to-leave

Manchester council looks set to pick up a big pile of cash from central government in exchange for setting up a two-tier congestion charge system to tax drivers who enter or leave the city. The congestion zone covers most of Manchester. You will pay to go into the centre in the morning and pay again to leave in the evening. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Thanks Mr Stringer

    Ah well, it'll be nice to see Manchester in conservative blue for a change.

    Paris, because she doesn't give a toss what people think either.

  2. Law


    I thought they had already killed this idea - Bo-lax!!

    On the last load of useless unsolicited junk-mail with info about it, it seemed to suggest I will get charged for going onto the M60 (towards Manchester), even though I don't actually go into or near Manchester, I travel past Stockport and then onto M56 to a more civilised part of the country - I won't be paying - don't care, they can lock me up for it - it's just not cricket!!

    The flame - because I predict a riot!!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    to be fair

    I would pay to leave manchester too, but then again I come from the better side of the pennines

  4. Sooty

    another great idea

    Because, just like london, the people driving around the centre of Manchester are doing it just to annoy everyone, not because they have no practical alternative.

    My company provides free transport in the form of a minibus, but i still use my motorbike to go to work and back.

    Its certainly not cheaper than free company provided transport, but waiting 30mins to an hour for a minibus that takes 30mins to get to another site, 10 mins drive away is not my idea of practical. As with london, everyone will just pay up as they have no choice.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A couple of thoughts

    Setting the charges so they only affect rush hour is certainly interesting (I'm not saying I agree with it - just that it's interesting). It would be a good incentive to move the working day round to avoid these times, which I suppose is sort-of the idea.

    As for "paying a deposit for an electronic tag" - well, how does this work then if you're only passing through? If you live and work in Manchester then you'll have an opportunity to get one of these, but what do you do otherwise? Request one and then wait until it arrives in the post before you set off?

  6. Rob Beard

    So the answer is...

    So by the sounds of that, the answer is to live in Manchester and work outside of Manchester or, simply avoid Manchester all together?


  7. Anonymous Coward

    Pay to leave Manchester?

    I'm just surprised they don't charge a LOT more!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Sounds a good plan

    I bet the good burghers of Madchester can't wait either.

  9. David Holden

    in out in out shake it all about

    so what if you are a delivery van driver who has to cross the threshold several times?

  10. Ben Smith
    Thumb Up

    Well done for the New Order

    song quote, but better would have been Everything's Gone Green.

  11. delboy

    Beyond The Joke

    Give it another 10 or 20 years and everywhere will have this new tax. Why don't they just arrest my wages!

    This is getting beyond the joke, tax, tax, tax, laws, laws, laws....

    Would the last one out, please turn out the light

  12. Christoph

    Honest politicians?

    They've actually agreed that people are prepared to pay to get out of Manchester?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Did I read that correctly ? 1.2 bn in grants and 1.8 bn in loans.

    What in the name of all that is holy are they spending all that on?

    Think about that amount. 1bn is 1000 million. And they want 3 of them.

    Right, firstly, why the hell is it so expensive? Where is that vast, incomprehensible amount of money going? Cos putting up a couple of cameras doesnt cost that.

    Secondly, is it worth it? Manchester might have a bit less traffic by 2013. Who cares? It will anyway with current oil prices. Of course it bloody isnt worth it. A pile of money that big could be spent in a lot better way to reduce traffic, and more importantly to improve the lives of the people who are paying for it. Me. And other taxpayers. It really is time that someone removed this drug-addled government from power. No wonder the governments bust if some consultant has told them it'll take 3 billion quid to piss of the entire population of manchester, and theyve bought it. Absolute effing morons, it's time to get of them. Im off to Zimbabwe. They know how to run an economy better than this lot of mindless cretins. And at least their leader is paying lip service (ish, of sorts) to getting actually elected, unlike the shyster running us. All this article needed was a mention of Vista and I really would have burst a blood vessel.

  14. Solomon Grundy

    Pay to Leave

    Sounds like church.

  15. Stu

    Labour all over...

    Yet another scheme unwanted by the public, introduced by people who don't know what they're doing...

    They talk about turning e.g. Altrincham into an "interchange" - maybe that'd work if there was anywhere near the station to park, or if there was more than one train every half hour from Altrincham into Cheshire, or if bus services were remotely useful. They're just not.

  16. Nick
    Paris Hilton

    @ A.C.

    "Think about that amount. 1bn is 1000 million." Only in America. Really, it's a million million. Bill Gates isn't as rich as he thinks he is.

    Paris, cos she knows the true value of money.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1.8 billion loan

    So, what's the interest on 1.8 billion over 30 years? A staggering amount, that's how much!

    With 3 billion quid, you could build an monorail system or a tram system or a tube (or something) that covers the whole of Manchester and provides free transport to all. THAT would be a genuine solution to the congestion problem! Problem is, it would take some effort to do - it's much easier just to push some paper around and taek money off people (money that serves absolutely no purpose other than to pay off their 1.8 billion loan!)

    We really do have a collective of absolute morons running this country, don't we?

  18. Tom


    "Did I read that correctly ? 1.2 bn in grants and 1.8 bn in loans.

    What in the name of all that is holy are they spending all that on?"

    Well they will shuffle most of the money around to fund other things, such as the Council Christmas Party. That'll leave about 2.5bn, 2bn to go on consultants, 250m to go on winning over people, 200m to go on advertising for the great new greater manchester, and then 50m to go on putting into place.

    End result some IT technician with years of expierence sitting infront of a comptuer programming like a dog for 20k whilst talking into his cup of coffee about "being able to burn this place down".

    Oh and then the project will run over budget and the poor IT technician will get blamed.

  19. Dave Harris Silver badge


    I too would happily pay to leave manchester, were I ever fool enough to go there again in future

  20. Peter Kay

    All about income, not about transport

    Greater Manchester's public transport actually isn't that bad, although it's not a spot on London's regardless of how much Londoners whinge about being squashed on the tube.

    Leaving aside the fact congestion doesn't last until 09:30 or cover all of the M60, they're not promising to properly overhaul transport. There are almost no night buses (post midnight) outside Manchester (there were some in Bolton, but they got canned due to lack of available funds. gee, thanks..). Some areas of South Manchester have practically zero transport to/from the centre even pre midnight.

    There are no extra trains promised, only extra carriages - maybe.

    There is no real detail on the bid either on websites or leaflets - it's a rubber stamp job that's being pushed through without decent consultation.

  21. David Simpson
    Thumb Down

    Council enslavement

    Well at least here in Edinburgh we got to vote, and we turned it down, although Edinburgh is a nightmare for traffic.

    If Manchester can borrow close to 3 billion for this why can't borrow 3 billion to build a flashy new low carbon transport system ?

    Oh wait if they can borrow 3 billion then this scheme must have huge money making potential, didn't anyone every point out to coty councils that they are supposed to be serving their community not enslaving them.

    A transport system would actually help people and since the proceeds of this plan will be paying off their loan for 30 years say goodbye to an alternative.

    It's about time stuff in this country was NOT run like a business, business is only good for profit not civil improvement, and civil improvement is rarely profitable in the short term.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    @AC regarding "I bet the good burghers of Madchester can't wait either."...

    ...did you mean 'burglars'?

    Mines the one that did have a wallet in it!

  23. ElFatbob

    Cunning ploy, really

    Not a bad wheeze - the government claims that no decision on 'road-pricing' in any form has been made whilst they hold back road funding unless LA's implement some form of road pricing!

    Nice one...claim you have nothing to do with it while you make the LA's look like the big bad ones...

    This government have really dropped below the level of scum. Apart from helping create a more violent society, they have mis-managed the economy completely. How can we have gone through over a decade of 'unprecedented global economic growth' and come out the other side owing billions upon billions in national debt...

    And the solution? Just more and more and more and more tax.

    The General Election cannot come soon enough...

  24. Richard Gadsden

    What's the money being spent on?

    The money is not being spend on the c-charge - it's going on the public transport. There's 35km of tram lines, plus a load of extra buses.

    The thing that really annoys me is that the big public transport improvement that's needed isn't getting done - the long-promised widening of the Manchester Loop to four tracks instead of two. At the moment, there are only two tracks (one in each direction) crossing Manchester, which makes through services almost impossible. The problem is that they've allowed a load of crappy flats to go up either side of the line, so widening will mean CPOs on those flats, and then demolishing them all. Last time I asked, it was costed at over £5bn in land acquisition alone - and then they have to build a four-track viaduct for a couple of miles across Manchester. All because they didn't get off their arses when the Hacienda closed and buy it all up cheap.

    As a result, there aren't enough trains running into the city, so people have to drive or get crushed. No amount of c-charge is going to fix that one.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is my Road Tax for?

    I was under the impression that I paid Road Tax in order to be able to utilise the highways which I, and my fellow taxpayers, have already paid for.

    Not content with taxing me once, they now seek to charge me again for the privilege of driving on road which I have already paid for.

    Of course, I'm sure the real winners in this will be those low paid workers who no longer have to be bothered with the tiresome burden of being able to get to and from work within a reasonable time frame, and will have to settle for waiting around in the rain for non-existent public transport.

    As Morrissey might say, 'The more you ignore the public, the closer the elections get"

  26. Dafydd Lawrence


    The money is going towards improving the public transport infrastructure before the congestion charging goes live.

    They are extending existing public transport links and turning railway stations into transport hubs.

    Read about it on the BBC....

  27. Joseph Haig

    Vote them out

    We need to respond in the only way that politicians will take notice, by voting them out.

    Oh wait, we already did:

  28. John Roberts
    Thumb Down

    No no no no no no no no no. Never.

    Stupid stupid stupid idea. Authorities likelike Stockport and Trafford straddle the M60. If I pop out the 1 mile to my local Tesco at the wrong time it's going to cost me £3 !!! Would they rather I drive 7 miles the other way instead skirting around the M60?


  29. Maurice Shakeshaft

    I am amusingly remineded of the Speed cameras on the Nottingham ring road

    As a result of a pre-launch survey, I understand, the good burghers anticipated that the speeding camera fines (sorry, safety camera penalties) to be collected would pay for the camera installation in (about) 6 months and they were shocked and distressed when it went massively wrong.

    They didn't factor in that people would slow down and that those who didn't would be off the road and so not eligible to pay, in short order. Nothing much practically changed as a result of the 'road safety cameras' - correct this urban myth, please.

    I wonder if the vast expenditure on (German made, Swedish constructed, French operated, UK Taxpayer paid for) - point to point trams will actually do any good at all for congestion. Certainly, if they start taxing to travel on M60 motorway I shall change my route to Liverpool. I thought the Motorways were National highways, anyway so what's with the idea of a local Toll. (OK, we've the Severn, Humber and Thames toll crossings - but they're different.... Oh no they're not!!!)

    Sorry, I'm talking to my special friend 'cos nobody else listens to me. Am I mad? Yes! Mad as hell.....

    Mine's the canvas one with the straps round the back......

  30. Chad H.

    lots of complaints about the tax

    lots of complaints about the tax, but no solutions, as always. What do our anti-tax brothers have in mind to reduce congestion? Knock down buildings to make bigger roads? Flying cars perhaps? They should have plenty of time to come up with a solution.... Whilst their stuck in traffic.

  31. Martin Lyne

    3 billion quid

    £2,999,999,500,000 on PR and consultants

    £500,000 on equipment.

    How much would providing decent buses cost?

    Christ, that's enough money to put a massive dent on world poverty or probably coving the whole of Manchester in solar panels! I actually feel sick.

    A half-arsed forced-car-share would work better probably, costing considerably less.

    Joke because.. well, please tell me it can't actually cost that much. Value for money anyone?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    manchester shitty council

    "...Ah well, it'll be nice to see Manchester in conservative blue for a change..."

    you're kidding right? - this shit-hole is the original 'pin a red rosette on a donkey and it'll get elected' borough. if manchester city council started putting the poor into gas chambers, the cretins would still vote for them on election day.

    " dad voted for t'labour all 'is life... and 'is grandfather before 'im..."

    fucking plankton!

  33. ImaGnuber

    Ghost Core

    Sounds brilliant - make it more expensive to work there - smaller businesses gradually begin to avoid it - then larger - smaller service businesses (cafes, restaurants etc) fail - the entire area becomes undesirable - and in twenty years (or less) you will be paying a huge bill in an effort to 'revitalise' the core.

    But, hey, you cut down on the traffic.

  34. RW

    Typical NuBolshevik Mindset

    Use the stick, comrades, and forget about carrots!

    I wonder how much rapid transit infrastructure 3 billion whatsits would pay for? And let me ask while I'm at it, are those billions million-millions or thousand-millions?

    It seems to me that discussion of proposed major IT projects in the UK public sector would be facilitated by a simple table that contains:

    1. whether the project failed or succeeded. (Some will have succeeded by being significantly reduced in scope; these outcomes need to be noted, too.)

    2. original estimated cost and actual cost;

    3. original target date and actual date the system went live (if it ever did);

    4. identity of principal contractor(s).

    The table's usefulness would be enhanced by providing references so as to combat deliberately spread disinformation and obfuscatory tactics by the spin doctoring profession.

    The Register is well-placed to compile such a table, with the great advantage of a well-informed readership ready, willing, and able to point out errors and omissions. Go to it, lads and lasses!

    Heart because I love The Register, in a strange sort of way.

  35. Darren B


    "Drivers will pay a deposit for an "electronic tag" which will trigger "electronic beacons", the BBC reports"

    Anyone else see the potential flaw in this?

    Living near to London why should I get a Tag to enter a city for a one off trip.

    Also I can see a great market for fake and stolen tags.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too City-centre-centric?

    The really quite obvious problem the city council have chosen to ignore is that the outer boundary slices straight through Stockport Town Centre - meaning that commuters from the likes of Edgely who happen to work in Reddish or the Heatons will face charges.

  37. /\/\j17


    So I need to rent a beacon from the council to pay my charge. Fine if I'm a resident but what about an occasional, or even one-time visitor?

  38. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    So let me get this straight...

    The congestion charge is being sold to us lot around greater manchester as some sort of deal with central government to pay for the metrolink we were promised. Which they cut funding for, for some reason, probably because it peeked a little bit above the 900 mil they'd initially budgeted for.. Now this congestion charge is going to get a 1.2 billion subsidy to get started...

    Wait a minute, wasn't this charge supposed to pay for the Metrolink light rail extension? Why is it getting more money than the extension was going to get? Why didn't they just take that 1.2 billion or whatever, that they suddenly seem to have lying around for useless schemes, and "invest" it straight into the Metrolink instead? They'd still have a few hundred mil left over for padding out MP's salaries, filling one of the pot-holes in Gord... sorry, Darling's books, or building a new fountain somewhere, too. Everybody wins! Well except the taxpayers, but that's probably an argument for another day...

    Oh wait, it's actually about saving the planet now, so we have to pay whether or not we get our light rail. Ye gods.

  39. Bad Beaver
    Jobs Halo

    Frightening perspectives.

    "Unable to ever get out of Manchester" just got a whole new dimension. You made it far enough to afford a car, yet you just cannot afford to leave town.

    "And it makes you wonder why I am making plans for better days" (says Nige Bray)

    Stevo, because today's St. Job's Day

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Can't anybody here read?

    The 3 billion is mainly to build public transport infrastructure so people don't need to drive.

    I live in Edinburgh and I voted for the congestion charge. We have pretty decent buses, fairly regular, not too busy. I don't see why I should put up with the noise fumes and 5 minute wait to cross the road to the shops just so you in cars can fill the streets on your unnecessary trips while you get steadily fatter, bringing on diabetes and using even more tax money via the NHS. Traffic is the worst thing about this city - If I could buy up the road in front of my flat and charge you a fortune to drive over it I would. If the council will do it on my behalf, good on them!

  42. Henny

    working hours

    looks like I'll be changing my working hours to be 10 to 6:30 then... avoid the times, avoid the costs...

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A con.

    It's just more tax. When I lived in a city like Brussels with good and cheap public transport in the form of Buses and Trams I used them, as I suspect most people would.

    You only need to start hitting people with another tax if there's no real alternative to a car

    You could also look at it and say well Manchester is too big for it's infrastructure so they should now freeze all building or opening of new offices until such time as the appropriate roads/trams/buses etc. can be provided.

  44. Red Bren

    It would be cheaper

    to offer free rush hour travel to everyone who works* in Manchester city centre!

    * coffin dodgers can wait till after 9:30

  45. Anonymous Coward

    What about the people who NEED to drive to work?

    I have the misfortune to be one of them. In my job we operate from a small office in the outskirts. And have customers all over Manchester! Customers that demand we are there within an hour if something breaks, meaning the ridiculously expensive "metrolink" is a no-no. I'm sure i'm not the only person in that situation. Where is the money going to go? Are residents of manchester going to get a tax-break for it? Of course not! All it means is thousands of people who already struggle more because of the "20% Tax Band" will have even less to feed their families.

    Mines the one with the plane tickets out of this forsaken country.

  46. Doogie Howser MD

    Who's surprised?

    I personally train it to work in the city centre and have for the last 10 years, even before petrol prices went stratospheric. I'm not here to gloat though, just to register my annoyance at the City Council for simply not listening to people and helping businesses leave the city in droves.

    Government don't get it, they're supposed to be a government OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people. They can't govern though, as they're all too busy with their noses in the trough. £3 billion? What for? They've had silly Metrolink prices for 10 years and the service has hardly moved on (unless you count building one new station next to the Hard Rock casino, big wow).

    As Rik from the Young Ones said, "Let's raise the people's army and seize control of the state!"

  47. Anonymous Coward

    you got to pay to play

    And they haven't figured out how to do anything without dipping their fat fingers into your pocket. I'm wondering what they do if you really are only "passing through"...charge double since you won't be making the normal "exit" trip.

    Mine's the one with the pockets sewn shut.

  48. Jon

    Won't somebody PLEASE think about the motorists

    "lots of complaints about the tax, but no solutions, as always. What do our anti-tax brothers have in mind to reduce congestion? Knock down buildings to make bigger roads? Flying cars perhaps? They should have plenty of time to come up with a solution.... Whilst their stuck in traffic."

    How about the rising income due to the VAT on fuel+fuel duty? or even some of the £45bn the motorist hands out to the government, whilst seeing only £7bn put back in?

    And, I'd like to add, who are expected to be paying back the £1.8bn loan?

    And the money is to be invested in to schemes aimed at forcing people to use 'public' privatised transport - will be seeing any of the profits from these companies?

    For all the people who voted these people in - feeling a bit silly now, eh?

    Madra's right, the sooner the council goes blue the better.

    Stop sign 'cos thats what they want us to do.

  49. Jeff Deacon
    Black Helicopters

    Don't shoot the messenger

    Manchester City Council, and all the rest of the local councils, are only doing what they have been instructed to do.

    Alas, I can't find the reference again, but there is a European Union plan that TEN cities in the EU regions formerly known as England will adopt congestion charging. They won't be instructed to do it! Instead they will all look at all the available evidence (such as no money for transport infrastructure unless they agree to it), and then spontaneously suggest that a congestion charge is what they need.

    Anyway its another excuse for more population monitoring CCTV and ANPR. "They" need another excuse because we have all rumbled the "prevention and detection of crime" excuse as worthless.

    Black helicopters are the only way to get around.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Consultants: £500m

    Construction firms: £2bn

    Council slush fund: £500m

    Keeping the poor inside Manchester: priceless

    40% less tramps in Westminster!

  51. Steven Knox

    @Nick @AC

    '"Think about that amount. 1bn is 1000 million." Only in America[*]. Really, it's a million million.'

    Not if you're following the UK gov standard since 1974:

    "In 1974 the government of the UK abandoned the long scale, so that the UK now applies the short scale interpretation exclusively in mass media and official usage."

    More to the point, is El Reg using short-scale (1 000-based) or long-scale (1 000 000-based) notation in the article? Which billion is being used here? 10^9 or 10^12?

    [*] and the mainstream scientific community...

  52. Slaine

    I smell a Quango

    I only go into Madchester if I absolutely ABSOLUTELY absolutely can't avoid it and even then I will use the train unless it is absolutely unavoidable. The roads are crap, the standard of driving is reminicent of Paris, the "no right, no left turns" around town are insane, bus and tram routes and timetables are confusing (the biggest understatement this side of calling the ever increasing Altantic a pond), the traffic wardens are cults (not as bad as Rochdale it's true but they are all now armed with digital cameras), the parking is diabolical and if you CAN find a space the charge is extortionate (third after Central London and Edinburgh's George Street unless you know different). The best part of town is the M60 ringroad, whereby you can drive just a few brief miles from the centre of town, point and say, "oh yeh, and that's Manchester... lets go somewhere nice instead". Apologies to Rusholm (the curry mile)... probably the best restaurant curry I've had outside Dundee.

    Bravo to the local council for proving yet again that they can be just as narrow-minded, vindictively persecutory, blatantly moneygrabbing and terminally short sighted as their BigBrother down in Whitehall. There's a credit crunch going down... WTF are they doing wasting £3 billion (and thus depriving the cash from legitimate credit requests) on a useless data logging system ? Let's face it, in another 6 months no-one will be able to afford the petrol to drive into the centre anyway.

    What's that smell?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Regret, was overcome by Temptation.

    Times Change. The Primitive Notion that Someone Like You can expect to maintain 60 Miles An Hour without congestion charging is Bizarre /_\ (sorry, Love Triangles).

    Keeping the World in Motion requires Everyone, Everywhere to show True Faith in the State Of The Nation and Turn, otherwise rather than going Round And Round we'll be stuck in a Slow Jam.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    That's a lot of money...

    "Did I read that correctly ? 1.2 bn in grants and 1.8 bn in loans.

    What in the name of all that is holy are they spending all that on?"

    Bribing the electorate!

  55. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Don't be so narrow-minded.

    The congestion charge in London is deemed to be successful ostensibly as a way of reducing traffic but most certainly as a source of funding for the council. Pollution in Manchester is way above the acceptable level and must, by law, be reduced. Central government effectively controls the purse strings of every council by the way it allocates grants so councils always look for new sources of discretionary income. Of course the revenue won't all go public transport but 3 bn to Manchester after repeatedly renegging on the funds for the tram extension (promised for the commonwealth games and again after that) is still a drop in the ocean after the Metrolink act - limited public funding on expansion and required that it put out to tender so the Tory party friends get to cream off the profit. Thatcher had to privatise Manchester's buses twice to get what she wanted. All British cities need massive investment in public transport after decades of neglect and shitty privatisation.

    Anyway 3 bn to Manchester and how much to London for the fucking Olympics? Will they go over budget? And how?

    The great British public - wants the best of everything but not prepared to pay for anything.

  56. Stuart Butterworth
    Dead Vulture

    @ Graham Dawson...

    The Metrolink extension was binned (after the land needed for building the had been acquired and prepared - basically all that weas needed was to lay track!) because central government (read: those useless gits in Whitehall!) couldnt afford 2 major public transport works - so the money was spent on the Jubilee Line extension which was Billions over budget, as opposed to the Metrolink, which was vastly UNDER-budget.

    The stupid thing about this - several of the Boroughs here won't be affected by any of the charges, but they have voted in favour of it, knowing that people would rather go shopping in, say, Rochdale, Oldham, or Bolton rather than pay to go into the City Centeer.

    I live a couple of miles outside of the outer ring - its common knowledge that all the streets round here will be turned into ad hoc car parks for all the commuters wanting to get buses for the final leg of the journey - its going to be hell.

    Even worse, i have some friends who live just north of the M60 - they work just outside the M60, about 3 exits clockwise - but as the only entrance to the motorway is ANTI-clockwise, they have to either take a 3 mile detour to the north, or go all the way round the M60, or pay this bloody charge to head along Victoria Avenue, parallel to the M60 to get to the next entrance a mile away.

    Also - the press here is going on about getting £3 Billion in funding - nowhere is it mentioned about a loan - nice to know the council putting us into massive debt to pay for gouging us.

    And the best bit?

    The public transport around here is crap - 3 of the 4 worst bus routes in Manchester run from near me along a single corridor into the center - one of them is (allegedly) running every 7-10 minutes - in practice, this means that there will be 3 every half hour - usually running nose to tail...

    Somehow, I cant see these people being able to sort out a decent public transport system able to handle the projected number of passengers.

  57. Graham Marsden

    @What is my Road Tax for?

    @Mad Dave

    > I was under the impression that I paid Road Tax in order to be able to utilise the highways which I, and my fellow taxpayers, have already paid for.

    Which is, as usual, a completely mistaken impression.

    Road Tax was replaced by Vehicle Excise Duty (a tax on your ownership of a car) before WWII. Unless you are about eighty years old you have *never* paid to use the road.

    You don't own it, either.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    You heard it hear first....

    Never gonna happen.


    @AC: "The 3 billion is mainly to build public transport infrastructure so people don't need to drive."







    Yeah, like you been on the two carriage train into Salford at 8am with the two thousand other poor souls...... Yeah, that 3 billion gonna be mainlined into our po' manc choo choo's.

  59. Martin Usher

    That's rather a lot of money....

    I dare say you could spend billions on land aquisition to widen the viaduct through the city center -- like the man said, there's only two tracks (but they are bidirectional and they're only a mile long at most, hardly worth losing sleep over). So that's not worth 3bn. There were other underused or disused train tracks around Manchester but there's always been a tendency to try to build on those tracks at key points just to make reusing the rights of way expensive or impossible.

    So I'd guess that most of this money will go for consultants, fees, land purchases and the like. From a purely practical perspective 3 billion is about 6000 per head of population, its a lot of money to spend (especially as its debt that has to be serviced -- like a lot of modern schemes the numbers just don't seem to add up).

  60. Anonymous Coward


    Just to say I'm glad to be rich, less poor people on the roads and the total cost of a years congestion charge is less then one night in a hotel or good cigar.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    no surprises, here

    If it looks like a tax, smells like a tax.... You get the picture. I doubt they will

    allow people to drive to the outer ring and park there without having a local

    permit so they can charge for parking or ticket you (another tax). Let's face it;

    any kind of traffic control camera, red light camera, speed camera, etc. is only

    another name for a tax and most of them could be avoided by having the coppers

    do their jobs and pull the jerk drivers off the road, tase them a time or two and trun

    them on their way. They've proven multiple times in the states that these things are all rip-offs there and that most red light offences can be effectively eliminated by extending the warning light a few seconds longer.

  62. Roger Heathcote

    It was working well in London...

    The already good public transport here has been massively improved by the c-charge, we've got 3 new bus routes where I live. The roads seem only slightly less congested but it's more about pushing manufacturers to make low emission city vehicles and making the current worst polluters subsidise the public transport infrastructure anyway. I'm just gutted Boris has got in in time to poo pooh Ken's £25 high emissions charge - now that's would have been real progressive taxation, pity!

    PS: 'Rah rah rah, I pay my road tax' people who want to motor piously through the center of every town can just bite me! I ride a bike and almost anyone else who works in a city could do too. If you live out of town, which you probably SHOULDN'T if you workin a city, you can still carshare and, in many places park and ride. You budding Clarkeson's out there should all quit whining coz motoring is going to get A HELL OF A LOT more expensive in the next 10 years baby! and people are going to get bored of hearing you bitch about it.

    I'm intersted to read they are considering using radio tagging (which has some clear issues to overcome) instead of numberplate recognition. You would have thought, all the work being done (and indeed working pretty well for several years now) it would be a no brainer to go with the established (and one might think cheaper) technology but government IT procurement seems to follow it's own strange rules. Still I don't see how they can contemplate a massive new untested IT system with it's unknown timescales and unfixed budget when they have one ready made :-/ Hmm

    Also, to those suggesting the money could be spent on trams, I have it on the authority of several transport planners and professionals that trams are, for the most part, shit.

    Think of it this way, busses are just like trams but they can go anywhere, maybe making busses run on electric would be the way to go ;-)

    Roger Heathcote

    PS. Yes, with the price of fuel hitting escape velocity it might prove to be a self correcting problem anyway! And £3,000,000,000 would buy a lot of solar panels

  63. ShaggyDoggy

    @Maurice Shakeshaft

    The Thames (Dartford) crossing is not a motorway, it's an A road.

    It's the classic quiz question - Does the M25 encircle London ? No (not quite)

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paying to leave Manchester?

    I'd pay to be shown the way out - it's one of the worst signposted city centres in England. Europe. The world. Anywhere I've driven. It's only since I got a satnav that I've dared venture in without a native guide.

    Still, paying to leave sounds a bit like the description I once heard of the M6 Toll road - "Two quid to avoid going to Birmingham. Excellent value."

    Guess I'd better click that little "Post anonymously" box before they start gathering the wicker...

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is a Billion?

    In Financial terms (because Americans can't count) 1 Billion is 1 Thousand Million. And I beleive they call 1 Trillion, 1 Million Million

    And these people call themselves Accountants??? No wonder they always fiddling the books.

    In Mathematical terms 1 Billion is 1 Million Million.

    And 1 Trillion is 1 Million Million Million or 1 Million Billion.

  66. Peter Whitworth-Hilton

    The Downfall Of Manchester?

    Well the IRA blew us up, we've been rebuilt since into a fantastic, thriving city comparable to many big European cities. Now it looks like it's time for it all to go downhill and probably kill Manchester off. All that inner-city redevelopment seems to be in vain!

  67. Dan

    It's all a CON


    The £3bn is for improvements to public transport, but of course a lot of the affected motorists will still have no viable alternative but to drive.

    In essence, Manchester is going for CON-charging in exchange for a £1.2bn grant, and a 30-year loan for a further extortionate amount that will be repaid by revenues from the charging, which of course means that despite the environmental arguments for the scheme, the council NEED motorists to stay in their cars.

    Additionally, a large portion of the revenue will be swallowed up by infrastructure and enforcement costs.

    2013 is fine, me and the missus will have had kids by then and moved out into the country before the city disappears up it's own arse.

    Readers not familiar with Manchester should take note, this is not like London just charging for the city itself, this one includes dozens of genuinely suburban areas with little, if any, congestion anyway. Most of the congestion in Manchester was created by the council, e.g. by putting a central reservation opposite a bus-stop and removing the layby so the bus has no choice but to hold everyone up.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    I think this is another mad scheme from a departing government. Expect more

    Labours epitaph will read.

    we made people on the low wage unable to afford cars at all,

    we killed farming in this country,

    we surrendered to bush's mad whims,

    we surrendered a ton of cash and power to europe

    we made it illegal to think naughty thoughts,

    we made it illegal to have free speech

    we made it too expensive and illegal to drink or smoke or have more than one holiday

    we sacrificed the armed forces,

    we let the NHS pass away in the local hospice

    we buried education by bribing people to stay on, then hired the inteligent people from overseas anyway

    we spent loads of money on nothing much of value (the dome, crap helicoptors, back pedalling, MP's mortgages, ID card schemes, NHS IT) then made it illegal and impossible to actually blame the MP's

    we let the terrorists win

    we proved Orwell right.

    ...but we won the olympics (and then spent a fortune to come up with a 3 year olds attempt at a sign for it.)

    mines the one with "guy fawkes was right" written on the back.

  69. Anonymous Coward

    @ Who's surprised? by Doogie Howser MD

    Re: Rik from the Young Ones said, "Let's raise the people's army and seize control of the state!"

    So, given that oil shortages, power shortages and food shortages are all aroung the corner, and first pick will go to the government and its cronies, much to the disgruntlement of the proles, I think the reason for all this 'anti-terror' legislation is all becoming clearer by the day.

    Of course, that needs a redefinition of 'terror', but the precedents are there.

  70. Slaine

    after Stuart Butterworth

    It's soooo true mate. Manchester is just brimming over with pubs and brewerys and I have never seen anyone from the local council successfully organise a piss-up in any of them.

  71. Anonymous Coward

    Democracy my ass

    If this is democracy, well Gordon can stick it up his ass.

    He's unelected as prime minister, and is extremely unlikely to stay in power. I.e. the public aren't supporting him.

    Manchester people are overwhelmingly AGAINST the proposals. AND....

    the longstanding local councillor who was the main proponent, LOST in the recent elections, mainly due to his support of this idea.


  72. Peter Kay

    Bolton rail 'interchange'

    What's the point? There's nothing wrong with Bolton railway station and bus interchange, other than the main bus station being a short distance away (run a shuttle bus - problem solved).

    There don't need to be more interchanges - there needs to be more fucking transport. Reinstating night buses in Bolton again (a million or two would run it for decades), running more than one train an hour to every station up the Lostock->Horwich->Chorley line. Of course that's not helped by the government's refusal to allow the train companies more rolling stock, even when they're willing to pay. idiots.

    Not to mention exactly the same improved transport to places slightly out of the way like Bromley Cross etc..

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Economic ruin

    Yup, London's a ghost town since they introduced the congestion charge. Nobody works there at all.

  74. W

    Twist in the tale, re: overbuilding city centre flats.

    I guess this'll create a better market for living within the C-charge limit. And thus the effects of overbuilding city centre flats will be tempered somewhat.

    Still won't change tha fact that all this 'city centre regeneration' means little more than building loads of flats and opening a couple of Wetherspoons rather than actually making a credible attempt at creating mixed housing where it actually becomes desirable for folk to actually bring up kids there. Instead, we're creating a culture where we 'do the city living thing' then the couples move out of the city when they have kids.

    How come so many other cities in throughout Europe and the world seem to be able to support city-based family life so much better?

    Another massive fail for the UKofA, but wallpapered over by slick lifestyle marketing in the early stages. So the underlying problems fester for years but we only notice that we've been figuratively building on shoddy foundations when the whole plan comes crashing down around our ears.

    Btw madra re: Manchester as "the original 'pin a red rosette on a donkey and it'll get elected' borough". Strathclyde will give you a damn good run for yer money on that score.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I will not pay the charge

    I live in newton heath near manchester city centre and as best as I can tell although there is not congestion on my route to work (I work on the same side of manchester as I live and travel away from manchester in the mornings) I will have to pay to leave my own house and then pay again to get back to it even though the route I take is the opposite to the congestion. They can lock me up as I can only just afford the petrol to get to work at the moment let alone another £40 a month just for the priviledge of going to work so they can tax me. And there in no way in hell I am paying for bloody device so they can charge me more not a cat in hells chance. Perhaps I can argue discrimination as they are discriminating against people that do not earn a lot of money.

  76. Jon Brindley
    Paris Hilton

    Just a thought..

    After the recent hoo-hah about MP's expenses and the fact that London has a Congestion Charge already - which they can claim back as part of expenses - does that apply to the councillors and local MPs of Manchester? Can they claim back their C-Charge as part of an expense of being a part of the local government? Cause if so, surely that means anyone who works in Manchester (or, for that matter, London) should have a legal precedent for claiming theirs back.

    Plus it just fans the flames of all those who say that MPs don't live in the real world any more. Try paying for things yourselves when you put taxes up.

    Of course, I could have the whole situation completely wrong and be making a spectacular ass of myself.

    (Oh, and Paris. Cause she's got a spectacular ass too.)

  77. Peter Whitworth-Hilton

    reply to Anonymous Coward (economic ruin) above

    Hello, London's charge bears little or no resemblance to Manchester's Autocratic Rip Off, wake up!

  78. Aaron Reynolds

    Just to clarify

    I'm not in favour of the scheme for several reasons BUT the money being generated from the government (and the rediculously large loan which we'll all be paying for in council tax rises) is actually intended to be used to improve public transport. The scheme is only viable to the government (supposedly) if it regenerates public transport.

    Because the lead-in period is several years away that gives the government the opportunity to find the money that they kept-back for the Metrolink extension.

    Do you think the charges based upon time-restriction and direction of traffic are bourne out of realising the London system is not working?

  79. Jack Ketch

    Great news

    Finally! A NuLab initiative that I can get on board with!

    The money will go exactly where it's needed: Improving public transport. And more commuters will finally be able to ditch the car. The charge should help to discourage those drivers who will have a viable alternative form of transport available to them.

    All in all this should make Manchester a more pleasant place to work and live, and will help to reduce carbon emissions.

    It is unfortunate that many people are unable to cope with change, but the way we have become used to living is completely unsustainable and must change accordingly. If it needs a charge/fine/tax (however you wish to spin it) to achieve this then so be it - there are greater things at stake than maintaining your comfort zone!

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glad to be a Brummie

    - the West Midlands has voted an emphatic "NO!" to road pricing, several times.

    Methinks the REAL reason the govt. is so keen on road pricing is that they are sh*t-scared that we will all eventually get electric cars, and they will lose their precious fuel duty.

    Just a thought.

  81. N

    Quick Question.

    Doe this mean ill pay a congestion charge for travelling to the Peel Centre in Stockport via the M67 from Glossop then a couple of junctions on the M60, If so that is crazy.

  82. Anonymous Coward

    On the upside...

    The Reg tells us that most public IT projects fail... think NHS IT, air traffic control, London ambulances, TETRA.... and has anyone tried their biometric passport with the French kit they have on trial?!

    Capita by some fluke managed to get the C-Charge systems working well in London and are now being replaced by IBM.

    The chances of anyone getting the IT behind a C-Charge system are slim at very the best! However that 1.8bn or so is going to be great in the pockets of us IT contractors :o)

  83. Kevin Gurney
    Thumb Up

    Won't be a problem......

    because by teh time it's in place and working, petrol will be £5 a litre and none of us will be able to afford to drive.

  84. Anonymous Coward

    Get 'public' transport right first!

    I'm lucky as I live in Manchester and work outside but there are still two ways to get to work and back.

    Option 1:

    Wait 10 minutes for bus

    30 minutes standing on overcrowded, overpriced bus.

    Wait 10 minutes for delayed train

    30 minutes standing on overcrowded, overpriced train.

    Wait 10 minutes for bus

    10 minute, bus ride (generally not overcrowded)

    Option 2:

    Drive 30 minutes in comfortable car.

    If the government has enough money to bail out Northern Rock, why doesn't it improve the public transport first, then charge us for it?

    Simple... It's never been about improving public transport, only about filling the coffers of their expense fund.

    Alien as they came, saw and left rolling on the floor with laughter.

  85. Mike Holden
    Thumb Down

    non starter for many

    I live about midway between the city centre and Stockport, and work outside the M60, along the M62. The descriptions so far of how the scheme "might" work (i.e. no definite plans published yet, keep us guessing) suggest that even though I am heading the opposite direction to any congestion, I may end up paying anyway. That is unless I take a 5 mile detour by heading the opposite direction to where I want to go and then looping back. How does that help the environment (or indeed my blood pressure)?

    Once a week or so I go out to sporting events, either in Wigan or at other venues mainly along the M62. In order to pick up my wife so we can travel together (itherwise we take 2 cars), I may end up paying to get home, then paying again to head out of the "centre", unless I leave late enough to avoid the charge, and end up late for the game - I don't even have the option of a huge detour this time, as I am going out of the city from inside the ring road.

    If public transport was an option, I would use it. The 192 bus is frequent and runs a few minutes walk from my house, and I have a railway station about 10 minutes walk, 1 stop out from Piccadilly, but to get to either of those locations involves heading out unfeasibly early to get to work and getting home very late, and for the sports means I would have to leave the game early to get the last train back again.

    I used the train on Sunday, but the route I came back had a "rail replacement service" (i.e. a bus) running, which drove between all the stations on the route, only going via the roads, and took absolutely ages.

    Non-starter for me.

  86. Aubrey Blazey

    Golden Brown

    Promised to give manchester the council the money to extend the tram system out to oldham and royton.... but each year he kept saying it would be in the next budget ....never did.

    but then he his last decision to cut flood defense money was quickly swept away when his first days in office followed a deluge ... hrmmm .. portentous ... perhaps...

  87. Michael
    Dead Vulture

    I remember ...

    An episode of "Yes Minister" which dealt with the issue of success or failure in projects. It was stated that the majority of inefficiency and waste could be eliminated if the initial proposal REQUIRED submitting EXACT criteria for wether a project succeeded or failed from the outset.

    Congestion charging brought traffic down in London by 10% or so.(Don't know exact figure... would not call 10% a success though.) ... It's a cash cow.


    Olympics massively overran its budget


    Council tax would improve efficiency by devolving power to local elected officials who , under pressure to get re-elected, would ensure bills stayed below inflation

    = FAIL (see above)

    Bin charges will improve the environment by encouraging people to recover valuable resources through economic incentive

    FAIL (see river )

    Je ne peux même plus se permettre un Molotov cocktail!!!Trop cher!!!

    Bruxelles commence à regarder de mieux en mieux et pas seulement en raison de tabac bon marché

    Salut! Tout notre nouvelle Overlords Europeen!!!!

  88. MYOFB

    Like many, I knee-jerked but . . .

    . . . I waited until I read all the posts here and read all the available info on the Manc' scheme.

    My conclusion?

    It has FAIL written all over it, given the scant info aired so far!! Please bear with me before nodding off and I will elucidate, thus.

    Just to set the scene up for you all, there is to be an Outer and Inner 'ring' boundary.

    1. Outer Ring: M60

    2. Inner Ring: A57 (A57M) aka the Inner Ring Road

    The proposed charge(s) will be triggered when:

    1. A vehicle 'CROSSES' the Outer boundary and/or the Inner boundary between 7:00am & 9:30am INBOUND to Manchester.

    2. A vehicle 'CROSSES' the Outer boundary and/or the Inner boundary between 4:00pm & 6:30pm OUTBOUND from Manchester.

    There has been no mention of being charged for USING the M60 (Outer Ring road) or the A57/A57M/Inner Ring road.

    Technically, if you enter the M60 at, let's say The Snipe slip road, travel through Stockport (Pyramid, etc . . .) and exit at the A34/M56/M62 et al, then you haven't 'CROSSED' the Outer Boundary . . . Therefore, NO CHARGE!!

    But . . .

    If you enter the M60 at any entry point that takes you in an Anti-Clockwise direction, then it doesn't matter which Junction/Slip road you EXIT from . . . You WILL be charged (during the proposed charging hours) because you will always be deemed to have 'CROSSED' the Outer Boundary!!

    The same scenario would, TECHNICALLY, apply to the Inner Ring road.

    Ok, ok, OKAY!! I've heard your screams of clockwise/anti-clockwise use of the Outer or Inner ring roads will be charged for!!

    I agree, there's no way that 'OPPORTUNITY' will be allowed to slip by and neither will the one I will let you in on now . . .

    A few years ago, I used to live in Delta Road, Audenshaw. Err, What??!!

    Go look it up on Google Maps or whatever but take notice of it's proximity to the M60 and in particular to the Snipe Retail Park.

    Why? Let me tell you why!!

    Imagine that I have taken a couple of (week)days of annual leave/holidays to do some work on my home (in Delta Road) and decided I would nip over to B & Q at the Snipe, bright and early (they open at 7:00am).

    I know what I want/need for the job in mind and have to drive over there in my car because I need it to load all the stuff I'm going to buy.


    I forgot about the Manc' C-Charge!! It's just cost me 2 quid extra because I CROSSED the M60 boundary (didn't travel along it, just crossed it).

    I don't live at Delta Road anymore but would still incur the Manc' C-Charge going to B & Q at The Snipe and any other B & Q store local to where I live now.

    Like many of you, my thoughts and experience of public transport are one and the same.

    But going beyond that, if public transport could take me from my home to B & Q (or wherever) and back again (however long it takes), with a boot load of stuff I bought there . . . then I would use it (public transport).

    The reality is, public transport can't do that (never has and never will) but those of us who use our vehicles for such purposes, will be villified by those who do not have that 'luxury'.

    More pertinently, we will be villified by the 'Powers That Be' in every way possible . . . and that stands for everyone . . . with or without a car!!

    BTW . . .

    The Manc' C-Charge(s) amount to the same as Londons (£5) . . .

    The difference is L's C-C is a day rate charge, regardless of how many times you enter or leave during charging times!!

    The Flame . . .

    Cos if you're really interested or worried about the Manc' C-C then flame me . . .

    Otherwise . . .

    Fuck Off wasting my time!!!!

    PS Still has FAIL written all over it !!

  89. William Bronze badge

    @Chad H.

    You remind me of the very politicians that dreamt this up. Ignorant and you just don't listen. People already have put forward suggestions. Like spending the £3Bn on a viable and integrated transport network. Such as buses that go to where you want to go, rather than in clumps that merely go in and out of the city centre. Trains that are not full. But of course, you just ignored all of that.

    People still have to go to work. The buses are full in the morning anyway. And not only are they full, but they are full of scrotes with their Phones Blaring out shite music, and people smoking weed upstairs. Not to mention the drunks and the thugs.

    No-one in their right mind would travel on the buses here if they have a car. Unless Manchester council is going to solve this little problem, it isn't going to stop congestion one bit.

    Oh, and before you smugly tell me that I should inform the driver of the bus - Try it. I remember one driver phoning for inspectors to come as people were smoking upstairs, but none were available. He evened phoned the police and they did fuck all either.

    There used to be a park and ride scheme, whereby you drove to a car park just on the outskirts of manchester city centre, and then got a bus into town. The car park was supervised. This is the kind of thing what is needed. Several large car parks about 2-3 miles outside the city centre all around, then trams or buses into the centre.

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