DRIVERS in Cambridgeshire's market towns will not face congestion charges, the county council promised today (Thursday) as it delivered its bid for £500million funding for a road pricing scheme in Cambridge city. Huntingdonshire, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire will all benefit if the bid is successful. More and better bus services will be introduced on the back of increased subsidy for public transport, as the council tries to persuade people out of their cars before the charge is introduced. The £517.3million package includes not just the charging system itself and huge improvements to bus services across much of the county, but more trains between Ely, Cambridge and London, extensive bus priority measures, extension to park-and-ride operating times and measures to promote walking and cycling into and in the city. Today's bid is for about £80million of the money from a £200million pot for 2008/09, part of the Government's Transport Innovation Fund from which the county council has already had £1.5million to work up the £4-a-day charging scheme. The council is set to mount a comprehensive consultation exercise with residents next month.