The Manchester congestion charge could mean the equivalent of a £1,200 pay cut for commuters from Chorley, campaigners against the scheme have warned.

Under the proposals, unveiled this month, drivers entering the “outer ring” bordered by the M60 motorway would be charged £2 in the morning and a further £1 to enter the “inner ring” around the city centre. In the evening, a further £1 will be charged on exit of each cordon.

Revenue from the scheme would be used to part-fund a £3billion improvements plan to public transport network.

But Sean Corker, co-ordinator of the Manchester Against Road Tolls group, said: “We have figures to say that there has actually been a 14 per cent drop in traffic at peak times in Manchester so anyone who uses their car to get into work knows that this charge is not needed.

“We have worked out that if someone from Chorley travels right into the city centre it will be the same as taking a £1,200 paycut on top of the rising cost of petrol which is already crippling motorists.”

At least seven of the ten councils in Greater Manchester must vote in favour of the proposals for the road charging to get the green light.

If approved, the congestion charge could be introduced by 2013.

Meanwhile, Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle has welcomed plans to consult neighbouring authorities on the plans.

Original proposals for consultation only included districts within Greater Manchester.

But now the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities has said that neighbouring local authorities will be asked for their views along with Lancashire MPs.

Mr Hoyle said: “In Chorley many people travel regularly into Manchester for business and leisure purposes.

“With trains becoming busier and busier people are forced to use their cars and any congestion charge will have a direct impact upon them.”