2 May, 2008 – Vote Fails to Deter Congestion Charge
Anti-toll tories failed to grab control over pivotal borough Bolton, meaning the city region's congestion charge plans are now likely to go ahead.
This means the pro-toll Labour and Liberal Democrat alliance continues to hold power in the Bolton borough.
Anti-toll politicians in Greater Manchester needed the Tories to take Bolton in order to derail the scheme.
Under Greater Manchester city region rules, seven out of ten leaders from the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester need to vote in favour of the congestion charge to make it a reality.
They cast their vote in the area’s electoral college of leaders.
Tory-controlled Trafford, Liberal Democrat-controlled Stockport, and Bury, which last night fell into Tory control, have opposed the charge.
But the seven other councils in the city region have pledged to vote for it in the Greater Manchester electoral college.
The Tories had pledged to vote against the charge if they took Bolton, which some had predicted they would win.
This would have meant that the pro-charge faction would only have had six out of the seven council votes they needed, with the anti-charge faction having four.
This would have been enough to block the scheme.
But it now looks as if Greater Manchester’s congestion charge – at the centre of a bid to government for billions from the Transport Innovation Fund – will get the green light.
Only London and the City of Durham currently run congestion charging schemes.
Source: Regneration & Renewal