Manchester road pricing bid goes ahead

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Manchester’s transport authority has confirmed it intends to bid for Government cash to introduce pay-as-you-go style road pricing – but is dithering about whether to charge bikes.

MCN revealed in May that initial proposals included charges for motorcycles. Since then there has been a public consultation on the plans. The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) and Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority now says feedback is being analysed and the decision on bikes will be announced within weeks.

Manchester confirmed this afternoon it would bid for £3 billion from a special Government fund for road pricing. If successful, charges of up to £5 a day for a return journey to the city centre could begin from 2012. Any charges for bikes in Manchester’s final plans are likely to be copied by nine other areas expected to bid for funding and in any future national road pricing scheme.

MCN directed readers to the Greater Manchester Transport Authority’s website in May to respond to initial proposals to charge us. A spokeswoman said today that motorcyclists were “one of the largest opponents” to the plans.

She said: “Initially I know it did say that motorcycles would be charged but they did receive a large amount of opposition to that.” She added: “Over the course of the next few weeks everything that was taken in over the consultation will be considered and the detail of those particular areas will be worked up and they will announcing who will be getting discounts and how  much, if motorcyclists are to be charged and how much they would be charged.” 

She said a further and more detailed “statutory consultation” would begin after the plans were finalised. She said riders could still have their say by visiting

The other nine area expected to announce plans for road pricing schemes before the Government’s September deadline for bids are:
1. Bristol and surrounding areas
2. Cambridgeshire
3. Durham
4. Shropshire
5. Tyne and Wear
6. West Midlands
7. Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and surrounding counties
8. Reading
9. Norwich

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell