The West Midlands has been excluded from the latest round of public transport funding from the Government, after councils failed to come to a decision about road pricing.
Manchester authorities are to receive £1.5 million to help them develop a programme of public transport improvements which could eventually receive funding of up to £200 million each year, Ministers announced yesterday.
It follows the decision of Greater Manchester councils to support the Government's plans for road pricing, by agreeing to introduce a trial system in their region.
As a result, the councils were awarded funding to help them develop detailed proposals for better bus, rail and tram networks.
Transport Minister Rosie Winterton revealed that another £1 million will be allocated to Cambridgeshire and £675,000 will go to the West of England Partnership, which includes Bristol City Council and neighbouring authorities.
The money will come from the Transport Innovation Fund, a Government scheme set up to pay for public transport improvements.
West Midlands authorities have received funding from the Transport Innovation Fund in the past but only when they appeared to be co-operating with the Government's plans to introduce road pricing.
Last year the region's councils, including Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country authorities, announced they had failed to come to an agreement about whether road pricing was right for the region, despite an inquiry lasting more than a year.
As a result, the seven West Midlands councils said they had decided against submitting a congestion charge bid to the Department for Transport for the time being.
Birmingham MP Lynne Jones (Lab Selly Oak) accused councils of failing to win much-needed funding for public transport.
She said: "I warned in the past that our region risked missing out on funding because we were dithering over this, and unfortunately it seems I have been proved right."
A spokesman for the West Midlands authorities said: "This is money to help authorities carry out further work drawing up schemes.
"But in the West Midlands, we have done that work already. All that remains is for local authority leaders to consider the findings."
West Midlands councils have requested £4 billion from the Transport Innovation Fund over a 30-year period to deliver better train, tram and bus services, including £1.7 billion up-front to pay for a five-year programme of urgent measures.
Schemes which could be funded by the Transport Innovation Fund include a £400 million extension of the Metro tram system in Birmingham and the Black Country.
It would run from Snow Hill through Birmingham city centre to Edgbaston, and from Brierley Hill to Wednesbury in the Black Country.
But Ministers have repeatedly warned that significant amounts of money from the fund will only be made available to councils which press ahead with congestion charging schemes.
Late last year the Government softened its stance slightly, hinting that councils could consider options such as making businesses charge employees for using the company car park as an alternative to road pricing.