Well at least I don’t have to eat my hat!! I wrote in my blog of 29 October that if a proposed congestion charge were to be put to a public referendum it would fail. Following the recent voting in Manchester it turns out I was exactly right. So the public transport proposals are now in disarray following the overwhelming rejection of the scheme by the public as allegedly there is no plan B.

There is growing concern about the Government’s linking of Transport Innovation Funding with some type of transport demand charging usually in the form of congestion charging. This basically means that if you want Government money to improve areas of public transport some type of charging policy for road use will need to be introduced at the same time. Manchester is now the second area that has had their scheme rejected, the other being Edinburgh in 2005.

With the London scheme now being reduced following the decision to remove the Western Extension from 2011 it appears that currently the British Public have no appetite for congestion charging.

I started my career in the motor industry in sales and at the time I worked for a local dealership selling Rovers to retail customers. As you can imagine this wasn’t the easiest task in the world and as my boss suggested I cold call people out of the phone book this didn’t raise my enthusiasm much. One thing I learnt fairly quickly was that if you sold something to someone and they didn’t really want it you would never get a happy or a returning customer.

Ken Livingstone was elected on the basis of introducing a congestion zone but now people have experienced it they don’t want to return for more. Therefore perhaps its time to return to the London example to see what could be improved before another example bites the dust.

I would like to wish all BusinessCar readers a Happy Christmas and New Year.