Chance to have your say on congestion charges

May 28, 2007 5:03 AM

People throughout the borough are to be asked their views on possible charges for using some of the busiest roads in Greater Manchester. Leaders of all 10 Greater Manchester councils will be asked on Friday 25 May to approve plans for a six-week public consultation exercise on a proposed bid for £1.1 billion investment in transport across the region, including possible congestion charges.

Rochdale Council Leader Councillor Alan Taylor said: "I am keen to hear more details about the proposals to bid for government money to improve transport so that we can decide our next steps.

"We have made it clear that we are not in favour of congestion charges as a way of dealing with overcrowded roads but if it can be shown that there are clear benefits to local residents and businesses from the package as a whole, we would consider it very carefully.

"Before we can offer our support, the transport proposals will need to pass a series of tests, one of the most important of which is that there should be clear public and business support for any proposal."

Leaders of the ten councils that make up the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities will meet again in July to receive the results from the opinion survey and decide whether to go ahead with a bid to the government for £1.1 billion towards total investment of £2.9 million.

Proposals for congestion charges - or road pricing, as it is sometimes called - would involve drivers paying to use some of the busiest routes in the conurbation at peak periods on weekdays.

The proposed major investment would also involve big improvements to public transport so that travellers would have the option to use a reliable, high quality public transport system, including the renewal and extension of Metrolink, instead of travelling by car.