Survey suggests Rochdale set to agree to Congestion Charge!

Date published: 19 August 2008

A MORI survey of more than 5,000 people across Greater Manchester suggests that the residents of the Borough of Rochdale will vote for congestion charging in the forthcoming referendum.

When asked if think the Councils should "accept this offer from the Government, or not?", 24% of Rochdale residents say “definitely”, 33% say “probably”, 25% say “definitely not” and 15% say “probably not”, 4% do not know.

The poll has been broadly welcomed by Rochdale Council Leader Alan Taylor, he said: "This poll was taken by the independent pollster MORI. It is very encouraging and shows that we are winning the arguments in favour a huge investment in our transport systems. A lot of scaremongering has gone on during this process. What is clear though is that our message is getting through - this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for massive transport investment and we need to grab it when we have the chance."

The question put was in the following context:

The Government has accepted, in principle, the Greater Manchester Councils’ bid for up to £3 billion to invest in the local transport network of Greater Manchester. The Government has said it will give the Councils over half the money and allow them to borrow the rest only if most of it is repaid by the money raised from a weekday peak time congestion charge scheme. The congestion charge would not be introduced before Summer 2013, once at least 80% of the proposed new public transport is in operation.

a) Do you think the Council's should accept this offer from the Government, or not?

Paul Rowen MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Light Rail said: "These figures are encouraging and it is clear that people are seeing the benefits of such massive transport improvement across Greater Manchester. Even more important than the result in Rochdale is the net results across Greater Manchester. Every authority showed a clear majority in favour. This is crucial as 7 out of the 10 authorities must vote 'yes' to bring this forward. I would not be complacent though and there is a long way to go. If we can step up our campaign, I am confident of an even bigger majority in favour. The crucial aspect is obviously the fact that we see the majority of transport improvement before any charge is levied. It is clear that if this is the case people will support the biggest ever transport improvements that this borough has ever seen."

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