Manchester charge ‘could add to van insurance fees and other costs’

A new congestion charge scheme for Manchester has been rejected by business leaders who say drivers already face too many taxes.

Bosses at the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) criticised the idea of road tolls for Greater Manchester and said duty hikes are not being met by investment in the UK’s road network.

On Monday the government gave the go ahead for the new scheme, which will see motorists chared up to £5 at peak times from 2013.

BCC director general David Frost told BBC Radio Four: “My concern is one where the debate on transport investment always seems to be framed in a way where we need to raise more taxes and more income in order to do anything.”

Commercial drivers who regular travel into Manchester could be hit hard by the new plan, which will come on top of rising fuel prices and regular payments for maintenance and van insurance policies.

Motoring group the Association of British Drivers has also hit out at the scheme, saying it will further add to rising road tax costs.