Following the story (Council: We're still backing car charging, The Bolton News, April 17), I would like to make it clear that councillors are not being "misled" in any way over the current investigations into how we significantly improve transport in Greater Manchester over the next decade, including potential congestion charging.

Firstly, I must reassure readers that no-one is being asked to support the introduction of an unspecified congestion charge. The only decision taken up to now has been to commission our officers to investigate the potential role that charging may play as part of a major local transport investment programme to support the future economic growth of Greater Manchester.

This is a decision that was taken by the leaders of all ten Greater Manchester councils. Officers' investigations are still underway and we will not be taking any further decisions until this work has been completed in late May. All ten leaders were made aware of this position at a meeting last month.

Moreover, any such decision will be taken by the leaders of the councils and will be made against the four tests, which they have set for a suitable scheme. These tests require that: l Significant investment in our transport system must be in place before any charging scheme could be introduced; l Any proposed scheme must maintain the economic competitiveness of Greater Manchester; l Proposals must be acceptable to the public and the business community; and l Proposals must be relevant to where congestion exists both now and in the future.

As we have stated previously, the Government's transport innovation fund offers us the opportunity to access over £1 billion investment in our local transport network.

But we can only take that opportunity if we are able to combine investment with a form a congestion charging that works for Greater Manchester.

These decisions are so important for Greater Manchester that we have instructed our officials to use as much time as is available to them to fully complete their investigations.

I know that this is frustrating for all concerned, but I do believe that people will expect all ten local authorities and three political parties to work together to ensure that the right decisions are taken for the future of the city region.

Cllr Roger Jones Chairman, GMPTA