ABD calls for vote on Manchester C-charge

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has said that there must be a referendum before a congestion charge is imposed in Manchester.

North-west MEP David Sumberg issued the original call for a referendum and the ABD said that this would be the only way of ensuring that a charge would be acceptable to both businesses and the public.

Opinion polls and petitions have already shown "massive public opposition" to the congestion charge, according to the association, but the government appears "determined to press on" with piloting the scheme in different regions.

On the extension of the charge in London, mayor Ken Livingstone has reportedly said that the move was "clearly controversial", but disputed the reliability of consultations, saying they "tend to draw responses primarily from those opposed to whatever is being consulted upon".

Sean Corker, coordinator of ABD Manchester, said: "Evidence from the London congestion charge shows a huge negative impact on businesses turnover within the charging zone and very little return for drivers in the form of improved journey times.

"Congestion charging and vehicle tracking cannot be imposed on the commuters of Greater Manchester through a self selective consultation process."

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