Attempts to "coerce, bully, bamboozle and con the people of Manchester" over a road-pricing scheme have forced Granada TV to pull a "biased" £230,000 advert.
It had been placed by the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) as the city is asked to vote on proposals to introduce the world`s biggest pay-to-drive zone.
It is being opposed by the Association of British Drivers (ABD), which claims it will charge people up to £1,200 a year "just for the privilege of driving to work".
Spokesman Nigel Humphries said: "GMPTE are spending millions on a campaign of disinformation to persuade the people of Manchester that their city will grind to a halt without road pricing.
"Nothing could be further from the truth. Manchester is seen as a soft target to get a pilot road-pricing scheme through so it can be imposed more easily on other cities such as Leeds and Bristol."
"GMPTE will stop at nothing to try and coerce, bully, bamboozle and con the people of Manchester into voting for the scheme.
"It's nothing short of blackmail - the investment should be made anyway out of the billions in tax paid by drivers, not tied to a mad road-pricing scheme that nobody wants."
Copyright © Press Association 2008