I was reading in the local paper a letter from a guy proposing a Monorail system for Manchester. Great idea! We can apply for it, there's nothing to stop us from dreaming that one day the powers that be will wake up and actually fund a reliable public transport alternative for this city region. City what? City region, I said, notice how you start to pick up the political speak when you start dabbling in transportation issues! (transportation? how American sounding is that?) Anyway, a monorail right down the middle of Princess Parkway/road from the Airport to Manchester Central (formerly G-Mex, originally Central Station) would be a good start. Of course it doesn't have to be a monorail, it could be a Metrolink tram, or a dedicated busway, or just a couple of bendy-buses, of course if we/they were really adventurous we/they could dig up the old street tram lines which are still buried under the central reservation and save us all a few bob!
Seriously though, this congestion charge nonsense is way out of control - It's a political thing and nothing you or I can say about the matter will make an ounce of difference. Nobody I know wants it, that's about all I can say, if you want to pay an extra grand a year or more to drive into this city at the peak period then write in and let me know, please! Because what the political odd bods don't/won't tell you is that sticking an extra/unfair road charge/tax on the people of Greater Manchester is only the beginning. Yes, this is to be the testing ground for the provinces and if people are daft enough to pay the charge here then they (central government/every local authority) will soon introduce the same thing to your neck of the woods. So, if for instance you work in Manchester and live in Liverpool you will quite likely need to pay not one congestion charge but two or three. You see, Liverpool will charge you because you live there, Manchester will charge you because you work there and of course Warrington will have to charge you for driving through their borough twice a day during the rush hour. By the time all this happens (in a couple of weeks?) there'll be a toll on the Motorway as well, so driving out of Manchester you'll have to pay the M602 toll then the M62 toll and if you use the M56 and M60 you'll need to pay their tolls too. Don't toll booths cause congestion?
Of course the real solution to all of our problems transport wise in the Manchester area is to re-instate the railways. Doesn't it make you mad driving round this city and seeing all those dismantled railway lines. The Victorians had the right idea, the roads were clogged up with horse and carts but no-one was bothered because they were all on the train! The trouble is, these days the train tracks have been dismantled and even where we have nice train lines we don't have any blooming stations! Mad? It gets madder! Take Wythenshawe for instance, a third of the population of the whole of the city of Manchester lives in Wythenshawe and there's not even a direct bus service to the city centre (more about that later!) There is however, a nice railway line that runs right through the middle of Wythenshawe, but there are no stations on it. The said railway line or should that be sad railway line links up with the metrolink interchange at Altrincham and runs through Stockport to Manchester Piccadilly in the opposite direction. It also crosses a couple of other strategic routes where interchange stations could be created, not least, the airport line.
Well, things have gone weird again on the web. This computer is running really slow and in general things aren't the way they should be. Weird Web! I had to miss posting to this and other blogs last Tuesday and today, I've tried changing the heading from every Tuesday to nearly every Tuesday but so far it still reads every Tuesday. Hopefully by the time you actually read this posting I'll have got it right.