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Last Updated: Monday, 16 April 2007, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Congestion plans suffer setback
Traffic on Oxford Road, Manchester
Fifteen main routes into the city centre will be chargeable
Plans to introduce a congestion charge on the main routes into Manchester city centre have suffered a setback after three councils withdrew their support.

Trafford, Rochdale and Stockport have said they are being kept in the dark about the details of the scheme.

The three councils are the only ones in the city not under Labour control.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive said all 10 local authorities would receive precise information about the plans at the end of May.

A spokesman for Manchester Against Road Tolls said they were pleased some councils had began to back away from the plans.

"It is still likely that once the May elections are over the majority of the politicians will force these plans through," he said.

"We urge all those in the Greater Manchester area to make their views known to local councillors and MPs."

The congestion charge system would target the 15 roads into Manchester with the greatest congestion, but would cost less than the 8 London charge.

Its introduction depends on a bid for 1bn of government funds to improve public transport in the region.

Unlike the London charge, hi-tech systems would charge drivers according to the time of day, length of journey and route taken.

Public consultation

In January, a report by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) said motorists would pay per mile.

Satellite tracking, electronic tagging and licence plate recognition technology are all being considered as methods of charging.

A public consultation is to be carried out so that drivers, residents and businesses can have their say on the proposals.

AGMA has said the scheme would not be introduced on roads until the people affected have access to a reliable, integrated public transport system which provides a genuine alternative to the car.

The government is due to make a decision on the congestion charge for the city in July.

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