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Congestion Charge D Day Looms for Manchester

New Road charging scheme survey launched

The scheme proposed by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities will need government approval.

£3.60 per day is the estimated cost to enter the congestion charge zone, but this will probably be closer to £5.00. Motorists will pay a deposit for an electric tag, which will monitor journeys on 15 main routes into the city in the morning and evening rush periods.

It has been suggested that delivery drivers will be charged every time they cross the zone this will be a capped rate. The plans envisage discounts for vulnerable groups, essential service vehicles will not be charged.

Entering an outer cordon around the M60, encircling the city, will cost £2, with people charged another £1 to get into the centre. An extra £1 will be charged to leave each of the zones.

The charges will apply between 0700-0930 and 1600-1830. Outside those times motorists will pay nothing.

Even in the busy periods, journeys which do not pass a charging point will not incur a fee.

Number plate recognition systems will be used to catch drivers who should pay but fail to do so.

Manchester is the first city outside London to propose congestion charging. Greater Manchester's plans could be in place by 2012, and pave the way for similar schemes in England eventually every major city will jump on the bandwagon to make money for the local authority.

The plans are part of a wider £3bn transport plan for Greater Manchester, which also includes expanding the Metrolink tram system and increasing bus and train services.

New tram lines have been proposed for Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and Manchester Airport with the Manchester Airport link dependent on the congestion charges scheme going ahead. Stockport Town Centre link has not been confirmed.

There appears to be no plans for exemption for lower emission cars.

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