'Vote Yes' TIF campaign launched

September 11, 2008 12:00 AM

Leader of Rochdale Council Alan Taylor alongside Paul Rowen MP at the lauch of the 'Yes' campaign.The campaign to persuade the people of Rochdale to vote yes in the referendum on the Transport Innovation Fund bid was launched in Rochdale today.

At the end of November all voters across town will receive a ballot paper asking whether they think that the Council should accept an offer from Government to invest £3billion in local public transport, part funded by a targeted, peak time congestion charge in Manchester city centre.

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen and the leader of Rochdale Council Alan Taylor are both backing the 'Vote Yes' campaign and both were at the Rochdale Centre of Diversity this morning (Thursday 11 September) for the campaign's launch.

Paul Rowen said: "I believe Rochdale is energised and understands the benefits that this scheme will bring to the town, especially with the proposals to have Metrolink running into Rochdale town centre.

"It is important to understand that the public transport improvements will benefit the whole of the city region. I go to the theatre at Oldham, I go into Manchester and I go to the ten-pin bowling at Bury. At the moment I am forced to use my car to get to those places but, in the current climate, soon people might not be able to use their cars, and if we do not 'vote yes' in the referendum then we will be left stuck with no alternative and the city region will grind to a halt."

"If you go to Rochdale train station between 7 and 9am you will not be able to find a parking space and the trains are full by the time they get to Smithy Bridge. People who want to use public transport at the moment do not have a choice. This bid will give them that choice."

The 'Yes Campaign' is a coalition of unions, businesses, environmentalists, commercial drivers, pensioners, students, community leaders, voluntary associations and other local representative bodies who will be pushing for the people of Greater Manchester to vote yes in the TIF referendum in the next couple of months.

The group gathered at Rochdale train station today to officially launch their campaign. An August MORI poll suggests 57% of people in Rochdale are currently going to vote yes in the referendum, making the town one of the leaders on 'yes' voters of the ten Greater Manchester authorities.

Speaking after the launch, Rochdale Council leader Alan Taylor said: ""I was very pleased to attend the launch of the Yes Campaign. This is a huge opportunity not only for Rochdale but the whole of Greater Manchester. The TIF Bid will bring in huge investment for our trams, trains and buses and I have absolutely no doubt that the people of Rochdale want to see this happen."