Page last updated at 20:08 GMT, Friday, 6 June 2008 21:08 UK

Congestion charging decision due

Traffic in Manchester
The plan would be offset by public transport improvements

A decision on whether a congestion charge will be introduced in Greater Manchester in return for transport improvements could be made next week.

Transport Minister Rosie Winterton is expected to make an announcement on Monday during a visit to Rochdale.

The road pricing scheme involves two charging rings - one at the M60, the other close to Manchester city centre.

If the plan goes ahead it will be offset by 3bn of public transport improvements.

Under the congestion charge, proposed by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), drivers would pay a deposit for an electric tag, which would trigger charges on journeys into the city in the morning and evening rush periods.

Greater Manchester's 10 councils have bid for permission to spend 3bn on public transport improvements in return for a peak-hour congestion charge of up to 5 an hour.

But Stockport, Trafford and Bury councils are no longer supporting the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) bid.

Councillors in Bolton have promised to hold a public referendum on the issue once all the facts are available.

Ms Winterton is due to make a statement with the leaders of Manchester and Wigan councils on Monday afternoon.




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