Manchester Congestion Charge in balance

* Result of vote announced tomorrow * Government funding depends on 'yes' vote * Cambridge, Bristol and Leeds want cash, too...

Manchester Congestion Charge in balance

The fate of the Manchester Congestion Charge will be announced tomorrow and the result will affect numerous other cities around Britain as they make decisions on schemes of their own.

A postal vote has been held to allow 1.9 million of the citys residents to pass verdict on the Greater Manchester Congestion Charge scheme. Seven of Greater Manchester's 10 boroughs must have a majority of people in favour of the plan for it to get the go-ahead.

Under the proposed 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.

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

Money collected from the project, earmarked to be introduced in 2013, would be put towards transport improvements, including a 22-mile extension to the Metrolink tramline, improved bus services, 120 new school buses and the doubling of park-and-ride provisions.

The Government has said it is willing to provide 1.5 billion through its Transport Innovation Fund, providing the other 1.3 billion is financed through the introduction of the Congestion Charge.

However, it has also warned that if the Congestion Charge is not introduced then it will not provide any funding for transport improvements, instead offering it to cities that do introduce such schemes.

Cities reported to be considering road pricing schemes include Cambridge, Bristol and Leeds.