Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Road charging film investigated

Still from the congestion charge film
The advert was funded by the Department for Transport

A public information film about the proposed congestion charge for Greater Manchester has been taken off air after claims it was biased.

The advert, funded by the Department for Transport on behalf of the Greater Manchester Passenger Executive (GMPTE), cost 230,000 to make and broadcast.

But ITV have now withdrawn the film after complaints were made to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.

It came as 1.9 million voting packs on the charge were being sent out.

'Baffled and confused'

Greater Manchester residents will receive their packs by Friday and must return them by 11 December.

The results of the referendum will be announced the following day.

If the proposals get the go-ahead, rush-hour commuters will be charged up to a maximum of 5 a day to drive in and out of Manchester city centre.

In return, the region will receive 2.8bn public transport investment from the government.

In a statement, GMPTE said it was "baffled" by the decision to withdraw the film.

It said: "We are baffled and confused why ITV pulled the commercial. We have followed every process and procedure."

Ofcom has not said whether the complaints were in favour or against the charge.

A spokesman said: "We are investigating a local poll advert by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive broadcast on ITV1 Granada.

"The results of our investigation will be published in due course."

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