Bolton Con-Charge Bell Tolls For Ruth Kelly
Bolton MP and Transport secretary, Ruth Kelly is being accused of keeping quiet about a potential £312 million bill for congestion charging in the town.
A rapid expansion of new congestion taxes in Greater Manchester is being driven by the need to finance the massive £1.8 billion loan application, now on Ruth Kelly's desk. The loan is part of the bid for limited public transport investment. 1
Charges for driving into Bolton Town centre will follow shortly after the introduction of congestion taxes on roads into Manchester city centre.
The Executive minutes Manchester Council 25 July 2007 — Proposed Greater Manchester TIF Bid (5)
The bid now being proposed is in two parts. The first part focuses on a well defined phase 1 investment and charging package. The final decisions on this phase would be followed by further detailed work at least 12 months later. The second part would identify further investment and links to potential expansions of the charging regime beyond phase 1. This would require more work on investment and charging business cases and would potentially be on track some 12 months behind the first phase.
The latest assessment from MART shows that over the 30 years of the loan, Bolton motorists will pay £312 million in charges to drive into the town centre.2
This is in addition to the hundreds of Bolton drivers who will be taxed more than a £1000 a year to drive into Manchester city centre.
MART co-ordinator Sean Corker said:
“Ruth Kelly has made no attempt to justify the importance of the transport bid and its effect on her constituents and the town as a whole. Yet if she gives the plans the go ahead, Bolton voters will be paying the price for 10 years of government policy and the radical expansionist plans of Manchester City Council. This is despite the fact that traffic levels have actually fallen in the town by nearly 7 per cent since 2001.” 3
More than 8300 vehicles travel into Bolton Town centre during the peak period, part of the 59000 that use all the Greater Manchester outer towns that will raise £2.65 billion over 30 years.
Sean Corker added:
“While London's transport infrastructure is lavished with billions of pounds of the country's motoring taxes, Ruth Kelly's own constituents will soon be told to pay up to £100 a month for 30 years or more to drive into their own town centre to pay for little more then a new bus station.”