Council leader hits out at TIF proposals

Date published: 06 October 2008

The leader of Stockport Council is urging the people of Greater Manchester to look at the finer details of the proposals for a congestion charge and transport improvements through the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) as he believes that the package does not add up.

Councillor Dave Goddard believes that TIF campaigners have misinformed the public about the supposed fleet of yellow school buses.

Councillor Goddard made reference to a press release issued last month that spoke of a huge expansion to the yellow school bus programme, which spoke of an extra 120 buses across Greater Manchester. Lord Peter Smith, Chairman of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, promised a 'total transformation of the school run of the future'.

However information sent direct to Stockport Council by TIF on reveals that by 2013, there are plans to run eight yellow school buses in Stockport, which is a rise of just one bus on the current figure.

Councillor Goddard said: "Is this what they call a huge expansion? Is this going to transform our school run? The answer has to be 'no'.

"More worryingly, we feel this information is being suppressed. We were given the information about the one yellow school bus in a draft copy of an advertisement, due to be placed by TIF in local newspapers.

"We of course queried the statistic. And when the advert was published, all reference to yellow buses had been removed. Is this honest and open communication?

"This is wrong and should not be happening at a time when the public ought to have transparent and robust information on this controversial project. Unfortunately, it is not the first time we have had to suffer misinformation over TIF and we now have to ask ourselves if we can trust the information they are putting in the public domain."

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