CONGESTION charge bosses in Manchester are being asked to answer a series of key questions about what effect the controversial road tax will have on Rossendale.

Leading councillors want to know how the system, which will charge motorists £5 to enter the nearby M60 ring road and a further toll for city centre driving, will affect the borough's transport infrastructure.

The prospect of a park and ride facility at a revamped Rawtenstall railway station has also been raised.

And the question of whether hospital patients with appointments in Rochdale or Bury can be exempted from the contentious charge, like Greater Manchester residents, has been raised.

Low income workers living in Rossendale but employed in the city centre, Bury or Rochdale are another concern raised by councillors Alyson Barnes and Peter Steen.

Labour group leader Coun Barnes and cabinet member Coun Steen have led a review into how the congestion charge could impact on Rossendale.

Figures show that 7,000 more people travel out of Rossendale for work than arrive each day.

Councillors Barnes and Steen say: “Rossendale's location at the gateway between Lancashire and Greater Manchester conurbation has made in increasingly popular with commuters.

The councillors have questioned whether the electronic smartcard used for travel across Rossendale will be compatible with its counterpart in Greater Manchester.

Similar issues have been raised about will happen if the Metrolink or rail services are extended to Rawtenstall.