Voters in Bolton will not be given a say on congestion charging when they go to the polls in May.

At a special meeting of Bolton Council last night, plans to hold a public vote on congestion charging at the same time as the local elections were rejected.

Cllr John Walsh, leader of Bolton Council's Conservative party, had put forward a motion which called for a public poll to be held on May 1 - during the local elections.

Councillors from both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties rejected the motion and instead vowed to hold a referendum on the issue when more was known about the scheme.

Cllr Nick Peel, executive member for environment, said: "We don't yet know all the facts so it would be irresponsible and pointless to hold a public vote on May 1.

"We have always said we are fundamentally opposed to any charging within the borough of Bolton."

Bolton, along with the other members of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, has bid for £3 billion of government cash to fund public transport improvements, including a new transport interchange in the borough and an 11-mile bus corridor, linking the town to Manchester.

Proceeds from congestion charges, which could cost motorists driving into Manchester city centre up to £5 a day, would be used to repay £2 billion of the government funding.

The Government has not yet responded to the bid and council bosses insist, following the Whitehall decision, they will consult with local businesses and members of the public before making a decision as a local authority and then holding a public vote.

Cllr Peel said: "We will not go ahead with this if it is something the Bolton people are opposed to."

But Cllr Walsh called for the poll to be held on May 1 because he claimed it would save the council money and allow people to have a voice.

He said: "I'm very disappointed that councillors have negated the needs of Bolton and that they have followed the party political line.

"The public should be given the chance to express a view on that."