City to vote on congestion fee

The Greater Manchester population is to vote on plans to introduce a congestion charge in the region, council leaders have agreed.

The heads of all 10 local authorities were unanimous about holding a public referendum on the issue - to be held in early to mid-December.

Under the scheme, peak-time drivers would pay £2 to cross the M60, then a further £1 to enter the inner charging zone of Manchester city centre.

A extra two £1 charges would be levied to cross the boundaries heading out of the city.

Delivery drivers would face paying up to £10 a day for repeated crossings.

The project, earmarked to be to introduced in 2013, would be combined with a £2.8 billion Government-funded package for public transport improvements.

Members of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (Agma) who met in Bury agreed residents would vote on just one question, with the wording yet to be decided.

Agma leader Lord Peter Smith said the vote would be "all or nothing" for the region.

He said: "People will have their say on whether they want to say yes to a transformed public transport system in Greater Manchester including a congestion charge to ensure their region can continue to prosper."

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