Azara Blog: The people of Manchester vote against the so-called congestion charge

Blog home page | Blog archive

Google   Bookmark and Share

Date published: 2008/12/13

The BBC says:

The people of Greater Manchester have voted against plans to introduce a congestion charge in the region.

Nearly two million people were asked to decide on a peak-time road charge to open up a £2.8bn transport investment.

A majority of voters in all of the region's 10 boroughs voted against the plans, with 812,815 (79%) no votes and 218,860 (21%) in favour of the charge.

It means the application for government Transport Innovation Fund (TiF) cash will not now go ahead.

The overall turnout across the 12 local authorities was about 53.2% with 1,033,000 people casting their vote.

The failed plan aimed to create the biggest road congestion zone in the UK, charging drivers up to £5 a day to drive into the city centre.

The Workers 1, the Ruling Elite 0.

It is amazing that the No vote was quite so high. Of course it's possible that the half of the population which didn't vote might have voted overwhelmingly Yes. But in a democracy, people who don't vote don't count, and rightfully so. Needless to say, most voters almost certainly voted for their own self-interest. So although the Manchester proposal made the most sense of all such proposals across the country (including the existing scheme in London), it is evident that voters overwhelmingly decided they would be worse off. This is one reason that Livingstone never asked the voters in London what they thought, since he presumably also knew he would probably lose a vote.

These anti-car schemes (for that is basically what they are) are very popular with the ruling elite (including the so-called environmentalists) but are not very popular with the workers, who would be the main losers. Ultimately, these so-called congestion charges (and they are not congestion charges but access charges) are an incredibly inefficient and wasteful tax, with the biggest winner far and away being the companies that run the schemes. And no politician has ever given a coherent reason why car drivers should be subsidising so-called public transport (with the small amount of money that is left over after the huge operating costs are taken into account) even more than they do already via the ordinary fuel and car tax.

Meanwhile back in Cambridge, the deluded Cambridgeshire County Council is trying to push through a similar scheme. But unlike in Manchester, there is no economy of scale in Cambridge, so the proposal really makes no sense. Needless to say, the county council would never dare to ask the people of Cambridgeshire to vote on such a proposal, because they know they would be defeated. Instead they have conducted a distorted (and so meaningless) survey where they can convince themselves that of course their ideas were right all along by cherry picking the results (especially since the sample was not random but heavily distorted by the cycling brigade, who are heavily biased against cars, needless to say).

All material not included from other sources is copyright For further information or questions email: info [at] cambridge2000 [dot] com (replace "[at]" with "@" and "[dot]" with ".").