Motorists driving through the Peak District could soon find themselves paying the first congestion charge on rural routes.
Derbyshire County Council wants to reduce traffic in the National Park and has applied to the Department for Transport (DfT) for cash from its new fund, set up to kick-start road-charging projects around the UK.
Although it wasn't included in the first tranche of funding awarded last week, which went to predominantly urban areas, the council will apply for cash in the second wave to be handed out early next year.
Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has encouraged the reapplication in a further demonstration of his conviction that nationwide pay-as-you-go tolls are the only way to control traffic in the UK.
Darling unveiled plans in June that could entail motorists paying between 2p and £1.34 a mile. The DfT is awarding money to local authorities so they can experiment with projects that could be rolled out nationwide.
Seven local authorities shared £7.5 million of funding last week, while £11 million will be awarded early in 2006. UK-wide charges could be in place as early as 2014 when the DfT has said it plans to spend £2.5 billion on schemes.
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