- Mayoral Candidate Jane Brophy has responded to calls from a think-tank that a congestion charge must be introduced.
- Jane Brophy has said that a congestion charge isn't the answer, maintaining the closest link possible with the EU is.
- Brophy: "The EU has done more to improve Greater Manchester's public transport and tackling climate change than anything or anyone else."
JANE BROPHY, the Liberal Democrats candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester, has responded to calls from a think-tank that the region's first ever mayor should introduce a congestion charge - nearly 10 years after the idea was rejected in a referendum.
Jane Brophy, who is running on an unapologetically pro-EU ticket, said: "Everything in Greater Manchester is underpinned by our place in the European Union. My top priority is to halt this aggressive Brexit agenda which will have an enormous and detrimental impact on our housing, health and social care services, transport, air pollution and climate change crises."
The think-tank Centre for Cities says whoever wins the mayoral election must bring in a congestion charge as a ‘quick win’ that would help manage traffic, cut pollution and pay for better transport links to outer areas such as Rochdale.
But Jane Brophy said: "Whilst I can see the benefits of a smart congestion charge system, I don't think that a 'quick win' is what we need. We need a long-term public transport plan, and that is best developed, funded and delivered with the help of the European Union.
"A congestion charge is not a top priority for me, my focus is to halt Brexit and work hard to secure a close link with the EU which has done more to improve public transport and tackle climate change than anything or anyone else.
"The EU has invested billions into successful projects like the Metrolink, which has finally started to make cross-city travel a reality.
"That is why my top priority for Greater Manchester is to halt this aggressive Brexit agenda which is going to have an enormous and detrimental impact on everything in our region from public transport to climate change and air pollution.
"On the very specific subject of a congestion charge, I can see the benefit of a smart congestion charge plan that, for example, would exempt electric cars but charge diesel ones. A smart system has worked exceptionally well in London, which now has one of the greatest public transport systems in the world."