Alistair Darling has handed the West Midlands a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to tackle the congestion that is crippling the region.
But Simon Murphy, chief executive of professional sector lobby group Birmingham Forward, believes the region's transport officials need to include the region's business leaders as they work up plans for a road pricing pilot.
"It is vital the feasibility study includes a range of options that an eventual road pricing pilot could adopt," he said.
"It is also crucially important that the business voice is included as officials work up the feasibility study."
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Alan Duncan welcomed any attempt to cut congestion but questioned the Government's record since 1997 and expressed fears that the West Midlands could eventually suffer through road pricing.
"We hope that these proposals do not lead to cities damaging their competitiveness by introducing ' congestion taxes' on the London model, which has affected businesses in the capital.
"The danger of introducing schemes in some cities but not others is that companies may choose to move to areas nearby in order to avoid the charge."
Mr Darling announced yesterday that councils in seven areas of the country are to share more than £7 million to tackle traffic congestion, including the prospect of introducing road pricing.
Local authorities in Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Durham, Manchester, Shropshire and Tyne & Wear have successfully bid for money from the £18 million Transport Innovation Fund set up to develop public transport schemes and cut congestion.
However, the West Midlands was the clear winner, remarkably getting more than double the initial £1.2 million it bid for a six-month feasibility study into a range of congestion tackling measures, including road pricing.
This could mean, for example, drivers paying more to use the Aston Expressway at 8.30am than they would at 10.30am.
The bid team will appoint consultants by Christmas and it will be then that details will emerge of exactly what the study will include.
But sources close to the bid indicate the Government is keen on the region producing a range of measures to tackle the different causes of congestion at different points across the conurbation.
This could see an eventual road pricing pilot, in advance of a national roll-out, sitting alongside road schemes and
public transport measures to clear the many log-jams that bedevil the region.
The fact the Government has give the region £2.6 million is a clear indication that it wants the sometimes uneasy coalition of seven district councils in the West Midlands to continue being brave in tackling congestion that costs the economy about £2.5 billion a year.
At the CBI conference yesterday, Mr Darling said: " Local and regional pilots are essential if we are to explore and understand the possibilities of road pricing at national level.
"It's good to see local authorities across the country recognising that congestion is an urgent problem and that planning to avoid future problems needs to start now.
"We are looking forward to working with these authorities to develop practical solutions to congestion problems, and support the development of a national road pricing scheme."
Another key development is the fact that the West Midlands, alongside the other six successful areas and representatives from London and Cardiff, will now sit on the Road Pricing Local Liaison Group - making sure road pricing technology and principles are standardised in advance of an expected national scheme during the next decade.
Meanwhile, public transport bosses are licking their lips at the promise of billions of pounds in transport investment for the road pricing pilot area. "West Midlands leaders have clearly stated that we want to be at the forefront of the debate to find innovative ways to tackle the growing problem of congestion," said Coun Gary Clarke, chairman of the Passenger Transport Authority.
"If there are major new sources of funding on the horizon, let's look at the opportunity to position our region to be among the first to benefit.
"This first stage would be about investigating options before any decisions are made - but it is clear there is already broad agreement that any solution will need to include ways that, with Government support, we can bring about significant improvements in public transport."
The TIF fund allows for up to £200 million a year to support local pilots.
The overall fund will rise to £2.5 billion by 2014/15 and Mr Darling has already indicated a healthy proportion of that money will go to the area that first pilots road pricing.
The West Midland feasibility study is looking at measures to tackle traffic levels in the conurbation, which are predicted to rise by as much as 35 per cent between 2001-11.