A businessman has called on people to attend public consultation meetings taking place this week and oppose plans for congestion charging in the Midlands.
Chris Kelly, chairman of Midlands Scania dealer Keltruck, said the meetings – the first of which took place in Brierley Hill yesterday – have been covered up by the authorities.
The meetings will discuss the future transport strategy of the region, under the title "Gridlock or Growth".
Issues will include the regeneration of New Street Station, park and ride schemes as well as the possibility of road pricing.
Mr Kelly said: "Congestion charging will have such a huge impact on business.
"It will influence people when they are making investment decisions about where to locate their companies for example.
"Instead of coming to the West Midlands they could end up going to the East Midlands.
"People will think why should we come here when our employees are being taxed to come to work?
"They will also face more charges themselves.
"This could have dire consequences for firms in the Midlands. This is a very serious issue."
But Mr Kelly said he thought the meetings had not been properly advertised.
"The seven local authorities who are carrying out this out haven't told anyone.
"I could be cynical and think they don't want people to attend who might oppose their plan.
"Is this a cock up or a conspiracy?
"I would like to see as many operators and businesses as possible at these meetings, as they offer a chance for them to speak."
He says people should speak now rather than suffer in silence in the future.
"There has been little or no publicity for these official ‘consultations’ and incredibly the Local Transport Plan website makes no mention of them either, so I’ve e-mailed nearly 1,000 operators and businesses, telling them about the meetings and urging them to go and have their say."
A spokesman for the West Midlands councils said: "These meetings have not been covered up at all.
"This event is being held in all of the council areas, and in addition there is an opportunity to have your say on the website.
"People can also put their views in writing. This is part of increasing the potential for debate, and we would urge people to take that opportunity while they can."