Public consultation on Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone

Greater Manchester to hold two major public consultations on key elements of the proposed Clean Air Zone (CAZ). 

The government has instructed Greater Manchester to introduce a Category C CAZ, this means that buses, coaches, taxis, heavy good and light goods vehicles (LGVs) will be affected. 

Once introduced, the proposed CAZ will cover all ten local authority areas.

Lockdown saw huge improvements to air quality across Manchester, however, since restrictions have been eased air pollution has already quickly returned, with many sites now above the legal limits.

In order to discuss the proposed CAZ, residents from across the region will be encouraged to have their say through the consultations, which will run from October 8 to December 3. 

The public will asked for their views on key elements, including the zone’s proposed boundary, daily charges, discounts and exemptions.

The government has already committed £41m to support Greater Manchester businesses, sole traders and the voluntary sector to help upgrade to cleaner commercial vehicles ahead of the CAZ being introduced.

Leaders are also working with the government to secure a further £100m in financial support.

Alongside the clean air plan, Greater Manchester leaders have also proposed a minimum licensing standard for taxis and private hire vehicles. This will help to make services safer and introducer better environmental and accessibility standards.

Cllr Andrew Western, Green City-region lead, said: ‘Greater Manchester needs to take action to improve air quality, now and for future generations.

‘As air pollution does not respect geographic boundaries, the ten Greater Manchester local authorities have come together to produce a joint plan.

‘The minimum standards for taxi and private hire will help deliver a shared vision for the future of the sector in Greater Manchester and a move away from harmful emissions.

‘As part of the work around implementing the Clean Air Plan, we have also secured funding that will help some locally licensed owners in renewing or upgrading their vehicles – with the aim to have an entirely zero-emission taxi and private hire fleet across the city region by the end of the decade.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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