CONTROVERSIAL congestion charging proposals and the £3 billion investment in Greater Manchester’s public transport will come under the spotlight at separate exhibitions to be staged in Bury and Ramsbottom.

The events are intended to give visitors the opportunity to find out more about the proposed public transport investment, ask questions about how a weekday peak time congestion charge might affect them and give their views on the proposals.

Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) is staging the TIF (Transport Innovation Fund) exhibitions which will take place in Kay Gardens this Saturday between 10am and 5pm and on Sunday between 10.30am and 4.30pm.

A similar exhibition will be held at Ramsbottom railway station next Tuesday from 11am to 7pm.

People will be able to give their views in a Big Brother-style ‘Diary Room’ and a giant map has been drawn up to help people understand the impact of TIF on their future journeys.

A TIF spokesman said: “Informing as many people as possible about the TIF package through an exhibition gives us a real opportunity to start a dialogue with residents.

“We hope as many people as possible will visit us and gives us the opportunity to answer their questions.”

The exhibition is visiting venues across Greater Manchester during a 14-week period of formal consultation into the TIF bid.

The last visit to the borough saw more than 320 people attend the exhibition in Prestwich.

Responses to the consultation will enable Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) to confirm details of the TIF proposals, including exact location of the inner ring, precise position of the charging points around the outer ring and discounts for specific groups of drivers.

The results of a Mori poll apparently shows Bury residents are not as keen as those in other areas in Greater Manchester over the road charge plans.

It was reported this week that 53 per cent of residents throughout the county have given their backing to the peaktime ‘pay as you go’ measure.

It appears that 49 per cent of Bury people surveyed were in favour of the congestion charge, the lowest throughout Greater Manchester, while those opposed amounted to 46 per cent.