London, 24 Feb 2007.
For immediate release.

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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."
 
ABD Manchester 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.”

 

 
 
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 
Proposed Manchester Congestion Charge Map [pdf]
 
London Chamber of Commerce — Response to the Consultation on the Proposed Cost Increase to the Congestion Charge Scheme (February 2005) [pdf]
 
Manchester Evening News — Euro MP David Sumberg calls for a referendum
 
Manchester City Council — Transport Innovation Fund Bid [pdf]
(The 'Transport Innovation Fund' is what the government is using to bribe local councils into introducing road pricing schemes — they don't get any money unless they do.)
 
The Times — Livingstone takes charge zone farther west despite opposition
 

 
 
Notes for Editors about the ABD