Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CBI Back C-Charge

It seems that a majority of CBI members polled support the proposed congestion charge in Manchester, according to this Manchester Online report.I've often wondered what motivates the CBI, apart from cash, and this makes me wonder even more.

Yet again motorists will be shafted in order to subsidise public transport. If you want to use public transport then you pay for it, don't expect me to pay for you. Many of us have stopped going to Manchester already, or at least we don't visit anywhere near as often as we did. We visit our parents and occasionally meet friends in Manchester if we can't avoid it. We no longer shop there. We visit the theatre very, very rarely now and no longer go in for a night out and spend the whole night there.

The main reason for our reduced visits is the hostility to cars. Parking is extortionate and road layouts appear designed to cause as much congestion as possible. Bus lanes lie empty for mile after mile while motorists sit in a lane that is crawling at best and often static for minutes at a time. The fewer buses there are the more bus lanes seem to appear.

One thing that the c-charge nutters seem to have missed is the developing housing crisis in the centre of Manchester and other cities. There has been such a huge boom in city centre developments in recent years, and most are studio apartments or one bed apartments, that the market has crashed, supply has exceeded demand. Already developers are going belly up and flats are being left empty. How soon before the city centre is riddled with the kind of slums last seen in the nineteenth century?

Until 25 years ago the city centre had few residents but filled at weekends with shoppers, theatregoers and clubbers, who now go elsewhere. As the slums develop and the shoppers go elsewhere there will be a huge increase in social problems in devastated city centres, aided and abetted by the c-charge.

Then we'll be taxed again to fund clearing up the mess.

Stop The Charge
Manchester Against Road Tolls

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