Manchester is a rapidly growing city, with a population that has increased from 425,000 in 2001to 510,000 in 2012. This increase of more than 20% means that Manchester is the fastest growing city, in terms of population, in the UK. The Greater Manchester Urban Area is the second largest urban area in the UK with a population of more than 2.5m. Manchester is noted for its links to sports and culture, media, science, and engineering.
Manchester Airport is the busiest airport outside London, and the third busiest in the whole country. Along with Heathrow, it is one of only two airports in the country that operates the Airbus A380, and despite being considered a local airport it has the highest rating possible for the size and type of planes that it can accommodate. There are also considerable train, bus, and other public transport networks that are commonly used by people attempting to travel across the city.
The road network in Manchester is considerable, and the city is served by many roads. In 2008 there were plans for a congestion charge to be introduced, similar to that in London. Although the government agreed to the plans, the congestion charge bid was put to local borough vote. Eight of the local boroughs needed to agree the plans, but every single borough opposed the plans with a considerable majority and the proposed congestion charge scheme was therefore dropped.
The dropping of the congestion charge means that there are fewer restrictions to the type of car that can be driven in Manchester’s city centre, as well as in the surrounding urban area. However, like many cities, the roads are congested and are often artificially narrowed by vehicles parked at the side of the road. City cars and compact cars are arguably the best choice for driving in this kind of location.
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