Manchester rejects congestion charge

Published: 12 December 2008

Greater Manchester has voted a resounding to ‘no’ to congestion charge plans for the region.

Voters rejected the plans in all of the region’s 10 boroughs by an overall majority of 79% amid a 53.2% turnout.

One voter said: "Turkeys don't vote for Christmas – and motorists won't vote for more taxes to drive."

The scheme could have given a boost to motorcyclists, who had been told they would not have to pay the new charge.

It means the city’s application for a multi-billion pound investment from the Government’s Transport Innovation Fund will not go ahead.

Manchester City Council Leader Sir Richard Leese said: "The Referendum has given a very clear outcome. I'm sure the economic downturn, which is hitting everyone hard, has had a part to play.”

Lord Peter Smith, Leader of The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, said: "I am of course very disappointed with the outcome. It is always a huge challenge to win any referendum and this one was always going to be particularly difficult, given the high feelings it has engendered.”