Road pricing will be tested in at least one big city within five years, as part of plans to be published in the government’s road transport bill today. The Times

The Department for Transport has identified 10 potential trial areas: Manchester, Durham, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Reading, Norwich, Bristol and Bath, Cambridge, the East Midlands (Nottingham, Derby and Leicester) and Tyne and Wear. The cities will submit bids in July

Manchester and Birmingham are the front-runners in the competition for a £200m-a-year government fund that has been earmarked for local authorities that agree to introduce charging schemes. Because of their size, trials in these two cities could involve up to a million motorists.

The winner or winners of the competition are due to be announced by the end of the year, with the trials starting around 2012