The Manchester Con(gestion) Charge

Are we being duped?

You may remember when London was about to get the congestion charge there were a large number of road works around the capital that seemed to make the congestion much, much worse.

Interestingly in Manchester a number of the major routes into the city centre from North and West Manchester seem to have road works on that act to produce heavy traffic at the busiest times of the day.

Could this be a coincidence? I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

What About The Con Charge Adverts?

The Manchester Congestion Charge Outer Ring Road If you look at all the adverts that are plastered everywhere they show ordinary people who don’t have a problem with the congestion charge. Of course the adverts make clear that the reason they don’t have a problem is that “they’re all right Jack” because they don’t drive into Manchester anyway.

Apparently the agency that constructed the adverts made sure the people weren’t smiling so that the message wouldn’t be seen that way. Check out what Mark Simpson found out about the adverts.

Well, like Mark I took the adverts to show smug people who are OK with the charge, because they wouldn’t be paying it! What about the people who wont earn enough? Do they go back on the dole?

Or maybe city centre office and shop employees wont start until after the new rush hour that will now start at 9:30? Does that mean that the congestion charge time would need extending to 10:30am then?

Mark makes a very good point in his first post on the charge about all the rat runs and the fact they’re not policed. If they’re not blocked off traffic will simply hive off down them to avoid the charge. If they are blocked the occasional motorist who uses them will be thwarted and have to join the main throng of traffic and make the traffic even worse.

What About Non-Manchester Commuters?

What happens to people who come to do some work in Manchester on an irregular basis, maybe weekly or every few days? People from Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Bolton, Rochdale, Stockport – you can easily name other close-by towns.

They add to the flow of traffic, but they also increase the amount of commerce coming into Manchester. Do we want to slow that down too? Maybe the intention is to completely put them off? That will certainly help the planned reduction in traffic. What’s the impact on the local economy?

Tomorrow I’ll be asking a few more questions about the ongoing cost of the congestion charge.

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About Jim Symcox

Manchester is great. At Manchester University I take part in Gilbert & Sullivan productions each year. I'm a Manchester-based business growth coach and marketing evangelist and like to help companies grow more profitable, more quickly.
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