OPPONENTS of a congestion charge on roads in Manchester are hoping to force a referendum on whether Bury should introduce a directly-elected mayor.

Manchester Against Road Tolls (MART) campaigners were today planning to hand in a petition of more than 9,000 names at Bury Town Hall.

They say they want a directly elected mayor because councillors are refusing to hold a referendum into the proposed congestion levy on roads into Manchester. It is part of a bid for £3 billion in Government cash to fund public transport improvements.

Bury Council has now joined Trafford and Stockport in declaring its opposition to charging but is refusing to hold a referendum.

Around 7,100 signatures are needed to force a referendum under the terms of the Local Government Act 2000.