Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Lucky Manchester.

Manchester, the city that voted against road charging and whose population are the first in the country to be given the opportunity to try out the nice ID cards, is getting a timely boost to its transport infrastructure.

Increasing the area covered by Metrolink, which had been shelved, is now going ahead. It says so here on the BBC last updated 15/05/2009

Here's an extract giving the background of the scheme and its' funding
The original £520m expansion of Metrolink was first announced back in 2000 and dubbed the Big Bang on account of the scale of the project.
But the plan hit the buffers in 2004 when the Government withdrew over rising costs, prompting outrage across Greater Manchester and the start of the Back on Track campaign.
In 2008, the Government confirmed it would pay a lump sum of £244m for a scaled down ‘Mini Bang’ expansion to Rochdale railway station, Chorlton and Droylsden.
Then, later that year, the full ‘Big Bang’ expansion was made a condition of the congestion charge, which was famously thrown out in a referendum.
But now, after months of negotiations, it seems that the money has been found to help Metrolink go the extra mile with the remainder being found from existing AGMA budgets.
Mrs Rigby wonders if, if her nearest city was given a tram system to make it easier to get around without needing to use a car, she would be interested in getting an ID card. - On balance, probably not!

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