Smart Transport

Councillors approve new clean air zone draft plan for Manchester

Tram in Manchester city

A new plan for a clean air zone in Greater Manchester will be launched and consulted on next year.

Plans for a fee-paying zone to improve air quality were postponed in February, to find a solution that was fairer to local businesses and residents. 

Councillors, who approved the new draft plan this week, want the zone to be charge-free and use the £120 million the Government has agreed to give the city region to fund vehicle upgrades, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.  

A ‘Category C’ charging CAZ covering Greater Manchester was due to be launched from May 30, and would have operated seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Non-compliant coaches and HGVs were due to be charged £60 to enter the zone, and taxis and private hire vehicles £7.50, with a temporary exemption for Greater Manchester-licensed vehicles until May 31, 2023.

Older vans and minibuses would also get an exemption until the same date but would be charged £10 thereafter.

Charges were due to be based on vehicles meeting certain emission standards – Euro6/VI or better for diesel engines, and Euro4 or better for petrol.

After the Government agreed to postpone the scheme, it gave local leaders until July to create a new proposal by which Greater Manchester's air quality must meet legal standards by 2026.

The new CAZ plan was submitted for Government approval this week.

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