Four other areas Leeds, Cambridgeshire, Reading and Bristol and the West of England are weighing up bids for a slice of the fund which is only available to councils willing to consider ‘demand management’ schemes such as congestion charging or workplace parking levies.
But with leaders in Greater Manchester and beyond calling for councils to be allowed to access the fund without putting such schemes in place, a source close to transport secretary Geoff Hoon said it was “too early” to comment on whether changes would be made.
“It is too early to say as there are other authorities assessing whether the TIF is the solution to their problems. But it was a pretty comprehensive result,” she said.
Andrew Carter (Con), leader of Leeds City Council, accused the government of trying to “coerce, bully and threaten councils” into adopting congestion charging.
“The government needs to go back to talking to local government and funding schemes out of the Exchequer,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by Matt Bradney (Con), cabinet member for transport at Cambridgeshire County Council, while Mark Bradshaw (Lab), Bristol City Council’s cabinet member for sustainable development, said the West of England Partnership “waited with interest to see what the government’s reaction to the result would be”.