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Manchester has a population of approximately 452,0001] and is situated within the wider Greater Manchester Urban Area, which has a population of about 2,240,2302]. It is the United Kingdom's third largest conurbation. Greater Manchester consists of ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Salford and Manchester.
In a poll of British business leaders published in 2006, Manchester was regarded as the best place in the UK to locate a business3]. A report commissioned by Manchester Partnership, published in 20074], showed Manchester to be the "fastest-growing city" economically.
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) approved “programme entry” for the package of measures associated with the introduction of a proposed Congestion Charge on 9th June 2008. The aim was to draw on resources from the Government-backed Transport Innovation Fund (TIF).
A 2-ring scheme was planned to become operational from 2013, with a maximum daily charge of £5 (€6) helping to fund a £2.7 billion (€3.2 billion) package5]of public transport measures.
However, the scheme was overwhelmingly rejected6] in a referendum on 12th December 2008, leading to the proposals being abandoned by the Passenger Transport Authority. On Friday 19th December 2008 the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) officially agreed to stop proceeding with the TIF proposals.For illustration, Figure 1.1 shows the extent of the original proposals for an inner and outer ‘ring’ or cordon in relation to Manchester and its neighbouring metropolitan boroughs. It should be noted that modifications were made to both the outer and inner charging boundaries as a result of the consultation. In particular the optional boundary on the inner charging ring was removed.
1] Office for National Statistics (2007) “Mid-2006 population estimates for the United Kingdom”.
2] Office for National Statistics (2001) “United Kingdom Census - Key Statistics for urban areas in England and Wales”.
3] OMIS Research (2006) “Britain's Best Cities 2005–2006” Executive Summary.
4] Manchester City Council (2007) “Manchester – The State of the City”.
5] Approximate conversion based on 1 GBP = 1.11664 EUR, January 2009.
6] On a turnout of just over half the electorate (53.2%), more than three quarters (79%) rejected the proposals.
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