Manchester Pricing Trial — Demand for a Referendum Grows
The Association of British Drivers support North West MEP David Sumberg's demand for a Congestion Charge referendum.
Manchester Council insists that the proposed congestion charge must pass the key test of 'Measures must be acceptable to the public and businesses'. This can only be achieved through a referendum. Despite opinion polls and petitions both locally and nationally showing massive public opposition, the Government is determined to press on with the regional road pricing pilot schemes.
Ken Livingstone said of the London Congestion Charge extension: "The proposal to extend the zone is clearly controversial," he said. "Consultations, however, tend to draw responses primarily from those opposed to whatever is being consulted upon."
He also said "The Transport for London consultation was useful to refine the plan and identify any problems but it was not a referendum on the scheme."
Co-ordinator Sean Corker said
“Evidence from the London congestion charge shows a huge negative impact on businesses turnover within the charging zone and very little return for drivers in the form of improved journey times. Congestion charging and vehicle tracking cannot be imposed on the commuters of Greater Manchester through a self selective consultation process.”