The New Gold Rush – In Manchester

Table of contents for Manchester Congestion Charging - Reprinted from Good Company

  1. The Congestion Charge Business Effect
  2. The New Gold Rush – In Manchester
  3. Manchester’s Congestion Charge Effect

Manchester Metrolink

Manchester’s congestion charging is coming whether people want it or not. And yet apart from funding the Metrolink expansion it has the potential to trigger a new gold rush!

Eight of Greater Manchester’s councils voted to move forward with congestion charging for Manchester by agreeing to go for money from the government’s Transport Innovation Fund. Trafford and Stockport voted against the bid.

With the funding the government wants 31 public transport improvements. Including the tram link to Manchester airport, more buses and train carriages.

It’s expected the congestion charge will be imposed towards the end of 2012 when all transport improvements are complete.

What Manchester Congestion Charging Means

A recent survey released on the 23rd July 2007 by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce looks at congestion charging in relation to business.

Survey question #3 asked people to rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 6 on their “knowledge and awareness of the Transport Innovation Fund and congestion charging proposals.”

Of the 643 members answering question #3 59% rated themselves as a 3 or less and 12% had “no knowledge.”

Congestion Charge Details:

  • The congestion charge targets the main routes into and out of Manchester.
  • Two rings of sensors will be set around the city to monitor the vehicles entering during the morning rush “hour” (7am to 9:30am), or leaving during the evening peak (4pm to 6:30pm).
  • The Outer ring of sensors roughly follows the line of the M60 and the Intermediate ring circles the city centre.
  • The planned congestion charging area is 12 times larger than London’s original area.
  • An onboard electronic tag in your car registers when you pass a sensor. Cameras using number plate recognition capture details of cars without tags so they can be fined.
  • Inbound peak traffic pays £1 for crossing the outer ring and a further £2 to cross the intermediate ring.
  • Outbound peak traffic pays £1 for each ring they cross going home.

If the London congestion charging model is used once you’ve passed a circle you can pass that same circle (in the same direction) more than once in a day without further charge. So nobody will pay more than £5 per day.

As I’ve said previously on this blog, people are writing about congestion charging as though it’s inevitable. And yet research reveals that people still plan to continue using their cars to get into work in town.

David Cameron’s ludicrous attempt to “go green” by charging for using supermarket car parks is quite simply a tax on the poor. Because you can bet your life that people with money in their pocket wont bother about a little penalty for going shopping. Whereas the poor may well be deterred from taking their car and getting a fortnight’s worth of shopping for the freezer and instead make lots of little trips to the supermarket instead. And worse drive there and drop someone off to do the shopping and keep their engine running so they can move if they get noticed by those appointed to oversee parking. How does that help the environment then Mr. Cameron?

In the next post about congestion charging I’ll explain what London expected to gain from congestion charging and what happened there. And how the findings affect Manchester.

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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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