Road pricing, the Government’s favoured policy for dealing with congestion, has been overwhelmingly rejected in a referendum in Manchester.
Manchester’s proposal for peak-time tolls of up to £5 a day was defeated by a majority of 4 to 1, with 79 per cent voting against.
Hoon had offered £1.5bn of Government cash to improve public transport, but only if the referendum went his way. This was a change in approach from that prior to the Edinburgh referendum where the funding was not dependent on the public agreeing with Labour policy. However, far from scaring the people of Manchester into voting yes, the result was a bigger no vote than seen in Edinburgh.
So the softly softly canvassing failed, and now the bullying has too. Well done Manchester for standing up to Labour's scare tactics.
And what will happen to all this taxpayer funding now?
Mr Hoon said the money earmarked for Manchester would be given to other cities: “There will be plenty of other cities looking to take up the opportunity if Manchester doesn’t.”
Not if you give the voters in those cities a vote on the matter, there won't ... Oh, I think I see what might be coming next.