Page last updated at 12:35 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 13:35 UK

Date set for C-charge referendum

Traffic in Manchester
A public consultation is under way

A referendum to decide whether a congestion charge should be introduced in Greater Manchester will be held in December, it has been announced.

Residents will be sent a postal ballot at the end of November, with the count beginning on 12 December.

If approved, the region will receive 2.8bn public transport investment and a weekday peak-time congestion charge.

If seven out of the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs vote yes, the scheme will go ahead.

The leaders of all 10 authorities unanimously agreed to a public referendum on the issue at a meeting of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) last month.

It is important that the people of the city-region are able to give their views
Lord Peter Smith, Leader of AGMA

If the charge gets the green light, motorists would be charged for crossing the M60 and a second ring around the city centre at peak times.

A public consultation on the plans is under way.

Brochures have been sent to 1.2m houses and firms and a series of information events are being staged.

Lord Peter Smith, Leader of AGMA, said: "December is the earliest we can organise a referendum that runs across all of Greater Manchester.

"But I think it is important that the people of the city-region are able to give their views on the proposed investments, and the limited charge, as soon as possible after the formal consultation defines the final form of our proposals.

"I look forward to the proposals being put to the people of Greater Manchester".

If it is given the go-ahead the congestion charge will be up and running by 2013.



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