Yes campaign in meltdown says Local MP

November 28, 2008 5:45 PM

Mark is campaigning against the congestion charge

Cheadle Constituency MP, Mark Hunter today spoke out against the Greater Manchester Future Transport's publicly funded TV advert which Ofcom has ruled broke advertising laws. Mr Hunter also revealed that claims that the TIF would provide 7.000 extra train seats were inflated by the Yes campaign.

Today Ofcom ruled that the GMPTA TV advertisement funded by the Department for Transport breached two sections of TV advertising law. These rules prevent adverts being broadcast which are 'directed towards a political end' and 'show partiality as respects matters of a political or industrial controversy or relating to current public opinion'. After reviewing the advert Ofcom decided that it broke both of these rules and ITV therefore removed it from viewing.

In addition, the Yes campaign claimed, at the Passenger Transport 2008 conference in Manchester on 13th November, that the TIF would increase the peak time capacity by 30%, by adding an extra 7,000 train seats. In fact the TIF documentation states that it will only add 'an additional 2,950 passengers in the three hour morning peak period." The figure of 7,000 was inflated to include the "additional capacity for 4,100 passengers in the three hour morning peak, which would be funded by the government without TIF."

Speaking on this Mr Hunter said, "As the result day for the congestion charge vote gets closer, it becomes more and more clear that the Yes campaign is getting desperate, with the number of own goals occurring increasing daily. The Yes campaign is in meltdown and they are desperate to influence votes in any way possible.

"What is of most concern is that this biased advert was paid for out of tax payer's money. As with their written literature the authorities have failed to fairly put both sides of the argument and have now managed to break the law.

"Once more the Yes campaign is deceiving the public about the deal that the TIF bid offers. To say that the TIF bid will increase capacity by 7,000 seats is quite simply a lie. We will get an extra 4,100 seats in peak times whatever happens, whether we have to pay the congestion charge or not.

"To inflate the advantages offered in exchange for the congestion charge gives people a false impression of what they will get if they vote yes and it's scandalous. The TIF bid will only provide an extra 2,950 seats at peak times - that's only a 13% capacity increase, not the 30% the Yes campaign promised.

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