Monday saw the announcement by Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly
of the outline approval of Greater Manchester's bid for funding.
The announcement means that provisional support for £1.5 billion in grants
and £1.2 billion in loans will be available to improve Greater Manchester's
buses, trams and trains in return for the introduction of a potential £5 a
day congestion charging scheme in Manchester during Monday to Friday peak
The next expected step will be the announcement of a 12 week consultation
period during which further details will become available as to where the
money will be spent (ie any new bus routes, train and metrolink
improvements) prior to a deciding vote by the 10 Greater Manchester Council'
The Congestion Charge sub committee should now have a busy few weeks and
months ahead as we investigate the more detailed proposals, hopefully
ensuring that regardless of whatever view we take (either in supporting the
scheme or opposing it) if the scheme is approved the benefits in improved
services are felt within the High Peak, and public transport alternatives
are available in the High Peak before the charge is introduced.