Setting up Manchester's congestion charge will cost a staggering £318 million.

It will be spent on setting up computer systems, cameras and infrastructure.

And the operating costs will cost a further £31 million each year.

With the scheme expected to pull in £174 million annually, it will take two years just to pay off the set-up fee.

It has led to criticism, with some saying alternative methods of reducing congestion needs to be found.

A public consultation on plans to introduce a congestion charge in Manchester is getting under way.

Information events are being staged and brochures are being sent to 1.2m houses and firms.

Under the congestion charging scheme, almost £3bn will be spent on public transport with £1.2bn of the cash coming in the form of a loan.

Drivers would be charged for crossing the M60 and a second ring around the city centre at peak times and these charges would be used to pay back the loan.

Among the schemes due to be introduced are the Metrolink extension to Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester Airport, Rochdale town centre and Oldham town centre.

Extra trains and buses and improved stations are also promised.

Lord Peter Smith, leader of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), said: "We have looked at all the available options and the bottom line is that that Transport Innovation Fund is the only source of funding capable of delivering a world class transport system to Greater Manchester."

Bury, Stockport and Trafford are opposed to the charge, which would be capped at £10 a day.

Campaign group Manchester Against Road Tolls said: "Most consultations give the answers that the authorities want, as people are only given selected facts and not the full story."