Birmingham will be committing 'commercial suicide' if it adopts a congestion charge, claim West Midland businesses.
The Forum of Private Businesses (FPB) spoke out after a leading Government transport advisor said it was time for congestion charging to spread across the country.
Last month Prof David Begg told The Birmingham Post that congestion charges could soon be the only real solution to encouraging people to leave their cars at home, a view which was shared at the time by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce's Jerry Blackett.
However, Nick Goulding, chief executive of the FPB, said the consequences of such a move would be catastrophic.
"Introducing congestion charging in Birmingham would be tantamount to sending a wrecking ball into the city's small business community," he said.
"The solution to congestion is better public transport and better roads - and not more tax."
Since a proposed workplace charging scheme was mooted and rejected by the business community five years ago, Birmingham City Council has played a straight bat on the issue of road pricing, saying it will only consider it when public transport in the city is at a sufficient level to provide a suitable alternative to the car.
Mr Goulding, who represents 25,000 FPB members, urged councils neighbouring Birmingham to register their opposition to congestion charging and suggested they could mount a legal challenge if Birmingham adopted congestion charging.