London congestion charge could expand to Manchester

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London congestion charge could expand to Manchester

London congestion charge could expand to Manchester

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Manchester could become the UK's second city to adopt congestion charges if its council approves the plan proposed by the government. The proposal includes a unique plan that differs from London's on several accounts. One thing that remains the same, however, is that motorists will be required to pay to enter and leave the city during peak traffic periods. The tolls are set to come into effect in 2013 if enacted.

The congestion scheme involves a dual-zone system. One larger ring around the M60, which encircles the city, and another around the city center. Those wishing to enter the outer ring region will have to pay £2 during the two rush periods, from 7am to 9:30am and 4pm to 6:30pm Monday through Friday, reports 4car. A charge of £1 to enter the inner ring in the morning and the same amount to leave each ring in the evening also applies. So a motorist driving into the city center in the morning and back out again in the evening would have to pay a total of £5 ($10). Those not going all the way into the city, or staying overnight, would not have to pay as much per day.

London's scheme, on the other hand, relies also on the type of vehicle entering the city, with stiffer charges for less fuel-efficient vehicles.

Manchester's city council will receive £3 billion to improve its public transport system if it does approve the measure, which would offset some of the pain the congestion tax would cause. On the other hand, accepting the additional funding might be perceived as a bribe by the public. The council's decision will be a difficult one.

So far the proposed plan hasn't raised the tremendous resistance faced by London's scheme, but it remains a proposal and its initial effect is years distant as well. London's infamous congestion charge has been contested in court by Porsche, considered the basis for former mayor Ken Livingstone's ouster and generally despised by motorists and environmentalists alike as ineffectual and elitist.
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