NINETY per cent of weekday drivers throughout Greater Manchester will not pay the proposed congestion charge.

That’s according to new detailed figures published by Greater Manchester Future Transport to show how the finances of the proposed scheme have been put together.

The proposed peak-time congestion charging scheme is based on drivers paying when they cross one or two rings at peak times on weekdays — heading towards Manchester in the morning and away from the city centre in the evening.

According to the study, 80 per cent of peak-time drivers who make up half the daily traffic would not pay a charge.

Figures show that: l Only two per cent of peak-time drivers will pay the full charge (£5 at 2007 prices) l Five per cent of peak-time drivers will cross the two inbound charging rings only — but not cross a ring heading out in the evening peak l Five per cent of peak-time drivers will either cross the M60 inbound only or cross the inner ring twice at peak times (and pay £2 at 2007 prices) l Eight per cent of peak-time drivers will cross one ring — either the M60 heading out or the inner ring inbound or outbound (and pay £1 in 2007 prices) l The average charge in 2013 will be less than £3.60.

The figures also assume that one per cent of drivers pay a penalty charge. This compares to between four and six per cent in London and Stockholm.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), said: “Unscrupulous critics have at various times suggested that congestion charging will be extended to the district towns and that a typical payment would be £8.

“I trust these figures will demonstrate how our plans have been put together assuming that the vast majority of drivers in Greater Manchester won’t pay any charge at all and that, of those who do, the average charge will be less than £3 at current prices. There are obviously no plans to extend charging to the district towns.”

Total revenues from the charging scheme in 2015 are estimated to be £174 million. Future charging levels will be reviewed by an Independent Charging Regulator.