|23 June 2007.
For immediate release.
"Now is the time for the people of Manchester to start the fight back against these toll plans which will destroy jobs and put the city at a major economic disadvantage. Transport planners have hatched a scheme to isolate Manchester with a version of the Berlin Wall, an electronic barrier called the M60 motorway — an astonishing own goal for a great city.Paul Smith, founder of safespeed.org.uk, will also be speaking at the press conference. Paul said:
Politicians are denying the people of Manchester a voice on this crucial issue and Manchester Against Road Tolls (MART) is determined to give them their say."
"It's Labour's scheme to price the poor off the roads and it won't even work to cut congestion.MART's campaign is backed by The Association of British Drivers, a national group which promotes positive transport choices and better targeting of road safety measures. Nigel Humphries, spokesman for the ABD said:
The Department for Transport says 'doing nothing is not an option' but we're only in this mess because they have been doing nothing for decades. And now they want to use road pricing as an excuse for doing practically nothing for another decade.
They say that congestion costs business £20 billion per annum, and it's set to rise. But one function of business is to minimise costs — so isn't the £20 billion costs of congestion already a price on the roads? And if business can't reduce those costs now, why might they be able to simply by paying more tax to use the same roads?"
"The vast majority of people who live and work in Manchester do not want this tax, and they will not stand idly by and have it foisted upon them by politicians who care little for public opinion until it comes to election time."