IT’S amazing that any politician could have actually thought that the people of Greater Manchester would vote yes to bringing in congestion charges last week.

Of course there are many thousands of drivers, and non-drivers, in the region who can see the sense in more people using public transport.

And many more who know that we cannot just continue to drive like lemmings in ever-greater numbers along grossly overcrowded roads.

But asking people to agree to dig deep into their pockets and pay serious money every day to go to work, shop or for a leisure trip, on top of their fuel and parking costs, is like expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas.

If that wasn’t daft enough what’s even more astounding is the naivety of all those figures, from councillor level upwards, who thought that they’d get a yes vote on the basis of politicians’ promises.

The promises were that if there was a ‘yes’ vote large amounts of investment would actually be put into providing a fast, efficient, clean and comfortable public transport system that would enable everyone to move in and out of the central area of the city without any need to use their car.

The truth is that folk in the North West, and the rest of the country, are not so gullible that they will commit themselves to big future expenditure on the basis of a promise that others will then do something for them.

Not without the sort of written, legally enforceable document that any sensible householder would insist on from a builder or any other tradesman, particularly one who wanted some money up front!

If you are using a carrot and stick the donkey (that’s us) has got to be able to see the carrot – not merely a drawing of it – for the vegetable to have any influence on its actions.

Unless you are lucky enough to live with within a short walk of Manchester’s Metrolink tram system, or perhaps on the route of some of those fast X buses, the truth is that regular travel into the city is quite impractical without using a car for most or all of the journey.

In East Lancashire a fair number of people have to make the trek on a daily basis.

The only alternative to motorways is a rail system which is woefully inadequate and just not “fit for purpose.”

Until politicians actually use our car and fuel taxes to begin providing the sort of public transport network that can be seen in many, many cities all over world from Western Europe to Singapore and Sydney they won’t get our support.

Pay now, live later isn’t going to get anyone’s vote.