Nov 17

I call that blackmail.
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If Manchester votes for road pricing, there will be more cash for other cities

The Government is threatening to withhold £1.5 billion of public funding for public transport in Manchester unless the city agrees to become a guinea pig for pay-as-you-drive road pricing.

Geoff Hoon, the Transport Secretary, said funding for new tram lines, extra buses and trains would be cancelled unless a majority of Greater Manchester’s 1.8 million population voted “yes” in next month’s road pricing referendum.

Mr Hoon’s comments, in an interview with The Times, angered opponents of Manchester’s proposed charging scheme. They accused the Government of trying to bully the city into voting for a tax on commuting by car.

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