RESOURCE | New Transport Plans for Greater Manchester

Barton WillmoreAs the Chancellor prepares this morning to announce plans to revolutionise transport in the North, I find myself wondering whether something else is missing, writes Dan Mitchell.

Smart travel cards, improved east west connections and greater connectivity between northern cities has got to be most welcome, a no-brainer even. It seems to take forever to get to Liverpool or Leeds on the train, on some of the most congested routes in the UK, so yes please to this announcement. However, whilst the carrot is most definitely there, what about the stick to address traffic congestion?

The reality is that there is an abundance of cheap, all-day car parks in Manchester City Centre. These provide a very cost effective way to travel to work by the private car. Within Manchester’s inner ring-road there are places where you can park all day for just £3.00, literally a 3 minute walk from Piccadilly or even Deansgate (you just need to know where to find them!). So is the new strategy, published today by Transport for the North and Government, entitled ‘The Northern Powerhouse: One Agenda, One Economy, One North’ missing a trick?

Manchester is the fastest growing city in the UK. We need a modern, efficient transport system – everyone agrees about that. But alongside this, we need to think carefully about traffic management. A few years back you’ll remember the debate about a congestion charge for Manchester. It proved highly controversial as business groups united against the proposals and City officials were forced to abandon the plans. However, if we are to have a truly effective transport strategy, is it now time to think again about traffic flows in the heart of the City Centre?

This article was originally published through Place Resources

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