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Biggest C-charge scheme for south Midlands

BRITAIN'S LARGEST congestion charging scheme could be in the south Midlands, according to documents released by the Department for Transport last week.

The plan covers Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

The region is seeking a share of £18M in government cash to help it develop a bid for Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) money.

The fund is slated to spend £9.5bn on local and regional schemes that combine demand management with better public transport between 2008 and 2015.

These could include congestion charging schemes and other traffic reduction measures.

The Department for Transport (DfT) will name successful bids later this month.

Last week the DfT revealed details of 27 bids worth £22M from individual local authorities, consortiums representing larger conurbations and regional bodies.

Other regions submitting charging plans include Greater Manchester, North Staffordshire, Tyne & Wear and the Thames Gateway. Cities include Bristol, Cambridge, Derby, Norwich and Shrewsbury.

Workplace parking levies were favoured by seven bidders, including Exeter and Nottingham.

Peterborough and West Yorkshire are developing plans for high occupancy vehicle lanes.

Bids for full TIF funding will be included in Local Transport Plan submissions in March.

Winners will be named in September.

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