I live between the inner and outer congestion zone so the value of my house is fairly likely to dip in the short-term, even more so than during this current global economic bellyache!
And I would have appreciated knowing the real price of the congestion charge to the Manchester rate payers.
12 Congestion Charge Capital Costs
Manchester will probably need to:
- Install number plate recognition technology on all roads it’s identified as “to be monitored”
- Install a vast array of signs to let drivers know when they’ll enter the charging zone (inner and outer), same for leaving
- Purchase the software required to run congestion charging
- Block off detours motorists might take and add new signs there
- Build a centre to organise payment of the congestion charge
- Build a centre (or use the payments centre) to follow up late payments
- Purchase and set-up computer facilities to run congestion charge applications (possibly including lottery-like terminals for payment)
- Introduce web based payment methods, along with a new web site
- Recruit staff to man the congestion charge payment and follow-up centre(s) (including ads, interviews and recruitment firms)
- Recruit IT staff to run the congestion charge systems ((including ads, interviews and recruitment firms))
- Introduce camera cars that can buzz around the city centre checking number plates for those cars who got through an unidentified rat run so they can be checked against car number plates coming into Manchester
- Training shopkeepers to help customers pay for congestion charging
How much do you think that lot will cost? And is that coming out of the money for transport?
12 Ongoing Congestion Charge Costs
So, now we’ve worked out that simply getting Manchester ready to start running a congestion charge is not exactly free, lets look at the running costs…
- Cost of locating, following up and taking non-payers to court
- Maintaining the signage and cameras
- Maintaining the congestion charge payment and follow-up centre (Policing Unit)
- Maintaining the software applications
- Rent or lease of the building housing staff
- Paying and managing the staff
- Paying for and managing the computer facilities
- Continuing recruitment costs as people leave
- Paying for running expenses of camera cars
- Continual training of congestion charge sellers
- Payment of congestion charge sellers
- Interest payments on loans to fund the capital not paid for by the government grant
Who Pays For the Town Hall and Public Servants?
My next thought is this.
Manchester Town Hall is right slap bang in the middle of the congestion charging zone. Does that mean that all the town hall staff will pay for the congestion charge? Or will the Town Hall staff decide to open later in the day, after 9:30am and close later? Or maybe some of their staff or the councillors will be exempt?
Where Does The Congestion Charge Policing Unit Go?
Where in Manchester will the congestion charge building be located? In the inner zone, between inner and outer zone, or outside the M60? If inside any zone the Congestion charge is actually increasing its revenues at the expense of its new staff.
And The Bottom Line?
Who is going to pay for all this? Manchester rate payers, of course.
However, if the council expects to pay running costs based on the charges what happens if the congestion charge works so well hardly anyone enters inner or outer zone until after 9:30am or leaves until after the afternoon time? Doesn’t that mean that it’s worked but the infrastructure is now a costly white elephant?
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