Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 12:46 UK

Calls to widen road pricing talks

London's congestion charge zone
The scheme would be combined with public transport investment

The government is being urged to extend its consultation programme for a congestion charge in Manchester to neighbouring counties.

North West MPs from outside the city have signed a Commons motion arguing that people who regularly travel to Manchester should have a say.

Ministers have given their provisional support to the scheme, which will charge drivers up to 5 from 2013.

The scheme would be combined with 2.8bn of public transport investment.

The motion has been tabled by Labour's Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley in Lancashire.

It has been signed by Greg Pope, Labour MP for Hyndburn, David Crausby, Labour MP for Bolton North East, and the Conservative Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley.

Regular drivers could use electronic tags to trigger charges
Charges into the city 7am-9.30am and out 4pm-6.30pm
Crossing into the outer zone heading into the city in the morning would cost 2 at current prices
Crossing into the inner zone would cost a further 1
Crossing each zone boundary heading out of the city in the evening would cost 1

It calls on the government to extend the consultation to Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Merseyside.

The motion reads: "There is a worrying lack of recognition that many people from Lancashire and other counties neighbouring Greater Manchester also travel into Manchester on a regular basis either for work, business, studying or leisure purposes."

It notes "the huge impact such a charge would have on such people, particularly as rail networks to and from Manchester are already overcrowded, leaving commuters with no option but to use the car".

If the scheme goes ahead, Manchester will become the first major British city outside London to introduce large-scale congestion charging.

In 2002, Durham became the first city to introduce a road charge, which controls access to its cathedral and castle area.

The Manchester plans involve two charging rings - the outer one at the M60, the inner one close to the city centre.

Charges - triggered by a series of electronic beacons - would vary according to the starting point for the journey.

They would be in place from 7am to 9.30am and 4pm to 6.30pm weekdays, excluding bank holidays.

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