The vote on a congestion charge in Manchester today was a forgone conclusion, designed to pass blame by politicians onto the voters.
Although apparently a setback, it is in effect an unintended victory for systems thinking. At system level, congestion is just a hickup in time that cannot last whether or not we keep ahead of the oil curve. Smarter ways of providing the necessary public transport infrastructure is needed together with a redistribution of workplaces and city living.
Drivers have a lot of faults but cannot be expected to carry the blame for over 100 years of society worshiping at the wheels of the automobile. Society as a whole has to shoulder the burden of the transformational change required.