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Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls

 

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Local Road User
Drifter
Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
26th July 2007 at 1:18PM
I have just read this BBC Article that says Stockport Council said no to road tolls.

I heard that the Government threatened to scrap the by-pass if Stockport Council said no, I have also heard the by-pass has been put back again.

I am glad they ignored the threats from the Government and have not been bullied into forcing Congestion Charges on us without any decent Local Transport put in place.

I think the Congestion Charge is ridiculous considering how the by-pass has been in the "planning" for over 30 years and also how we wont have a metro link to Hazel Grove.

How do you all feel on this subject? Are you worried about the by-pass? do you think they made the wrong decision?
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Adora
Good Citizen

Adora
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
26th July 2007 at 2:42PM
We need the by-pass.
We do not need congestion charging.
We DO need some solutions to the problem of congestion, environmental consequences of car travel etc but I'm not bright enough to come up with any great ideas. I just know we need to!

Adora

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John Ellis.
Drifter
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
27th July 2007 at 6:49AM
There's been quite a debate about all this on another HG website forum.

Most people there seem to feel like you do. The current situation seems to be:

+ The bypass appears once again to be off the agenda for now until there's some clarity about how the vast cost of building it will be met. Strictly, it's a separate issue, though I too heard a rumour that an unfavourable reaction from Stockport towards congestion charges might not help our case for a bypass in the mind of someone high up!

+ All the Labour-controlled councils in Greater Manchester County, led by Manchester, are supporting the idea of congerstion charges. Stockport (Lib Dem) and Trafford (Conservative) have come out against - Stockport after conducting its own snapshot independent poll of the views of local businesses and residents. Not sure about Lib Dem Rochdale, as they've been promised in the scheme better public transport improvements than we have. When I looked on their council website, they were asking residents for their views.

+ The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) - both Labour-controlled - are promoting the scheme, though the opponents' pressure group claim that neither has the legal power to implement it. The opponents also claim that, of the £3 billion said to be on offer, only £1.1 billion will come as a grant. The other £1.9 billion would have to be repaid - with interest. They argue that much of the income from the charging would therefore go on interest and repayment, and on the cost of actually implementing and operating the scheme - there would be little if any money available for ongoing improvements to public transport, and income could in fact fall short, so that the charges would have to be raised.

+ A little while ago, AGMA decided that some of its decisions could be made by majority vote, rather than by consensus of all the member councils. It is therefore possible that Trafford and Stockport could simply be outvoted by the rest, and that local objections could have no practical effect.

+ The promoters have maintained from the start that the scheme wouldn't be implemented before the promised public transport improvements had been put in place, and Cllr Sir Richard Leese, Labour leader of Manchester City Council, reiterated this in the last few days. Some areas would see considerable public transport benefits, but Hazel Grove isn't one of them! You should have had a blue leaflet through your door explaining the scheme a few weeks back, but if you didn't, look at www.gmfuturetransport.co.uk which will tell you all that is on the leaflet.

+ Briefly, for anyone who didn't get the leaflet, the promise for Hazel Grove is a reconstructed Park & Ride facility at the station (but the perfectly adequate one that we already have is never normally full), longer trains, and express/limited stop buses (which avoids the reality that calling a service "express" doesn't enable it to speed through congested traffic or get round the 192s in the bus lane that stop at every stop!). As you say, Metrolink to Hazel Grove might make the offer a bit more substantial - track already exists along the old Midland Railway line from Cheadle Heath (near the proposed Metrolink route into Stockport) down to Macclesfield Road/Buxton Road here. The charge would apply between 7:00 and 9:30 am and from 4:00 to 6:30 pm. You would pay £2 in the morning to pass beyond the M60 in the town centre, and a further £1 to go beyond Longsight/Rusholme/Victoria Park into Manchester city centre, and a further £1 to cross both these points if you returned in the evening. But I hear that Salford City Council is already arguing for a further charge point on the line of the A57 Mancunian Way for traffic going right into the city centre.
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John Ellis
Drifter
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
27th July 2007 at 8:44AM
Just looked at my last post, and realized the very last bit is ambiguous: I should have said that you'll pay an extra £1 to cross EACH of the points (i.e. £2 in all) when crossing the charge points in the late afternoon/evening.
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Man
Drifter
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
27th July 2007 at 1:03PM
Hi John,

Please could you maybe explain/tell me a little more about the possible Metrolink idea! I don't know any of the details about it but in principle it sounds like a great idea to extend it from Manchester through to HG.

Would that be possible? Is it ever talked about? Where would it go?

I use the Metro around Salford area into Manchester and it is absolutely fantastic, the only real public transport alternative to a car in my opinion.
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CiviCr
CiviCr

CiviCr
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
27th July 2007 at 1:46PM
Hi John,
If you register, you are able to edit your previous posts and your posts won't need approving.

Regards,
Administrator
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GillB
Townsperson

GillB
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
27th July 2007 at 3:39PM
Does it matter if they "block the by-pass"?

I mean its been over 30years, it ain't going to happen. I my self have given up all hope of a by-pass and it was started before I was even born!
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JohnEllis
Citizen

JohnEllis
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
27th July 2007 at 6:29PM
Thanks for the tip, Mr/Ms Administrator - I've registered!

The Metro to Hazel Grove's purely my own idea - I haven't seen it anywhere. But one of the promised public transport improvements, which are part of the congestion charge scheme, is to bring Metrolink into Stockport town centre. This involves bringing back into use the old Midland Railway line that used to run from Manchester Central station (now GMEX) to Stockport via Chorlton, Didsbury and Heaton Mersey. This line was closed in 1967, but much of the track space remains.

Taking Metrolink down the first stretch of this line, from the existing Metrolink at Old Trafford to St Werburgh's Road in Chorlton, has already been agreed. The public transport improvements under the congestion charge plan propose to extend it on through Didsbury, and into Stockport. The old line used to go into Stockport Tiviot Dale station, but that's long vanished under the motorway. Instead, the line will cut through the Mersey meadows in Cheadle Heath, past Brinksway, to a terminus beside the river at Stockport bus station.

Through Cheadle Heath there still runs a goods line that comes down into Hazel Grove via Adswood, under Bramhall Lane, and eventually, up on the viaduct, to Macclesfield Road/Buxton Road. Now it's only a single line, but there's room for two tracks. If the will, and the money, were there, couldn't a Metrolink spur be run down to Hazel Grove, from the planned line at Cheadle Heath? A single track might only allow a half hourly service, but, alongside the existing train service, it'd be a lot better than what we have now. The fact is that we in Hazel Grove would get little enough improvement to public transport under the present plan to impose a congestion charge. The feasibility of bringing Metrolink here must surely be worth exploring.
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Man
Drifter
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
28th July 2007 at 5:31AM
Thank you John, you are very well informed! I am totally in favour of such a scheme, it just seems like the best option by a mile. It's environmentally friendly, it's quiet, it's reliable, looks quite nice and hopefully wouldn't involve too much disturbance to areas around the proposed line. Getting it all the way into Hazel Grove would be fantastic.

But the main caveat seems to be that Hazel Grove is neglected by the rest of Greater Manchester transport planning or that the people who run South East Manchester are incompetent. Maybe that is a too strong, and I admit I do not know enough about the situation, but I have to say, I am very angry about how long the bypass has been coming and going. It is just a shame to have lived here so long expecting improvement and nothing to have happened whilst other areas nearby are always investing and improving.
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Zaach
Drifter
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
28th July 2007 at 9:04AM
what abuot all the people that live near the bypass and near the trainlines - do they get a say or shall we just build over them they dont matter as long as we get to the trafford centre in 10 minutes
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JohnEllis
Citizen

JohnEllis
Re: Stockport says ’no’ to road tolls
28th July 2007 at 9:58AM, Edit: 28th July 2007 at 12:28PM by JohnEllis
Thanks for the compliment, Man, but I'm not really an expert!

Certainly these proposals offer little to tempt people in this area away from their cars on to public transport, though admittedly other areas of Greater Manchester look as if they would get better facilities. Personally, I do think that our pattern of ever-increasing car use is just not sustainable in the future. I retired last year after nine years of working in Salford in a job where I had to use my car for work purposes, and I saw peak hour traffic density increase visibly over that time. In the last three or four years I resorted to leaving home around 7:00 am to get to work before the main congestion built up, and in the evening I had to abandon my original route home and find another, due to increasing gridlock. In the last year, that alternative route also became steadily more choked and congested, but, due to the physical barrier of the Manchester Ship Canal, there were no other options to take. The travel problem was one factor in my decision to retire when I did.

Successive British governments have been disinclined to invest in public transport, and, from the 60s until quite recently they have, in practice, viewed it as a problem, not an opportunity. In the meantime, the car culture has become established - with me as much as anyone. Rightly, now, the powers that be are realizing that it can't go on.

But you won't get people out of their cars unless public transport is available, attractive and affordable. For people in Hazel Grove who travel towards Manchester to work, it's frequently none of these things. Buses get caught up in the A6 congestion; trains are priced prohibitively to discourage people from using them at the peak times when most people in jobs have no choice but to do so.

It's simply an inadequate response from the increasingly arrogant and authoritarian brigade which governs us just to slam congestion charges on to motorists - with the added drawback that you feel you're being monitored and spied on day by day by people whose motives and judgement I certainly don't feel that I can necessarily trust - without providing better public transport alternatives for the areas affected. And, as nothing adequate seems to be offered to people here, I thought that, given that we have some available track space from close to where the Metrolink is planned to go down into the Grove, a Metrolink to the Grove is at least worth a feasibility study.

But don't hold your breath - my suspicion is that this is a done deal, and we'll get the charges despite the objections of our Council, and of others. And while I've no doubt that some of the public transport improvements proposed will be put in place in some areas, I rather doubt that all of it will come to fruition, much less any maverick suggestions from nobodies like me!

People can see the Greater Manchester congestion charge/public transport improvement proposals on:

www.gmfuturetransport.co.uk

- though it strikes me as fairly thin on detail. If you want to see the view of the pressure group formed to oppose the charges, look at:

www.manchestertolltax.com

- though this one strikes me as hotter on emotion than on constructive opposition. Or am I just impossible to please?!

Zaach, my idea uses existing railway track - nothing new at all. As for the by-pass route, I sympathize, because I live within 100 yards of where part of it would run, and the construction work would come right up to my fence. But the traffic situation in the Grove is such that something has to be done, and a by-pass would ease things for a while. Unfortunately, experience elsewhere suggests that, after a few years, traffic starts using the old routes again to avoid the increasing congestion on the by-passes, but it would at least buy a few years' respite from heavy vehicles on London Road.
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