Election Rout for Manchester Congestion Charge Champion
The chief backer of the proposed Manchester congestion charge, Roger Jones, has been trounced into third place in the local elections behind the anti congestion charge Community Action Party and the Conservative Party.
Yesterday's local elections were the first opportunity voters have had to demonstrate their opposition to Greater Manchester's congestion charge proposals. The Community Action Party, backed by Manchester Against Road Tolls (MART), secured a victory with 41.2% of the vote, up from 32% at the last election.
CAP 1152 - 41.2%
Con 832 - 29.7%
Lab 650 - 23.2%
LibDem 161 - 5.7%
Turnout was 38.4%, up from 32.08% in 2004 when Roger Jones last won the seat.
MART spokesman and ABD Manchester representative Sean Corker said:
“This result proves beyond doubt that the congestion charge is a cast iron vote loser. When voters are presented with both sides of the argument they are resolutely against the scheme. Transport Minister Ruth Kelly could well have to decide between approving the Manchester bid and keeping her Bolton West seat at the next election.”
ABD National media spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
“This is a triumph for all the hard work Sean and his team have put in to opposing the Manchester road pricing scheme. The Government have bribed this great city into acting as a guinea pig for road charges with promises of funding for the much needed Metro scheme — something that should be paid for out of the colossal taxation revenue from fuel and excise duty. The people of Manchester have shown what they think of this by voting Roger Jones out.”
The ABD is against road pricing in all its forms because it:
- is a regressive tax which is unfair on low earners.
- cannot work at reducing congestion without punitive charges which will harm the economy.
- will incur huge collection costs which will have to be paid on top of existing motoring taxes.
- uses infrastructure inefficently as the M6 Toll shows.
- involves keeping detailed records of people's movements.
- distracts attention from the need to improve transport infrastructure and to plan for less need to travel in the economy.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Manchester Evening News — Transport boss loses seat
Notes for Editors about the ABD