Smart Transport

Manchester to launch £120m clean air zone support scheme

Manchester clean air zone illustration

Manchester is launching a £120 million support scheme in November to help businesses switch to cleaner vehicles ahead of its clean air zone (CAZ) going live on May 30 next year.

All 10 Greater Manchester local authorities have approved the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan, which includes a government directed ‘category c’ charging clean air zone, to help tackle air pollution.

Affected vehicles include light goods vehicles and vans, heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches, motorhomes, hackney cabs, private hire vehicles and minibuses, but not private cars.

Transport for Greater Manchester said that work is already underway on the scheme, with the first Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras installed on Vernon Street in Bolton in August, with around 850 more to follow to enforce any non-payment of daily charges.

Clean air zone signage is also being introduced on the highways network across the city-region.

The GM Clean Air Plan accredited dealership scheme is now open for vehicle dealers to join, to help roll out around £120m funding support when clean vehicle funds open for applications from November this year.

Councillor Andrew Western, Greater Manchester lead for clean air, said: “It’s good to see a tremendous amount of progress being made to deliver the clean air zone, which will include local roads in all 10 Greater Manchester local authority areas.

“We’re working hard to ensure we support affected vehicle owners move to cleaner vehicles so they don’t have to pay a daily charge. While the zone launches in May 2022, there will be local exemptions in place to give businesses and organisations more time to apply for funding.

“Our goal is to reduce harmful emissions. We want to help as many people and businesses as possible to be driving cleaner vehicles so we can all breathe cleaner air.

Consultation on changes to the clean air zone 

A public consultation has also been launched to determine whether to include sections of the A575 and A580 at Worsley in the charging scheme, and whether M1/ M1 SP vehicles with a body type of ‘motorcaravan’ should incur charges.

These were two issues raised in the feedback to the original consultation in 2020. 

This new consultation will run for six weeks (until October 13)

Councillor Western said: “We have taken into account all the feedback we received during the 2020 Clean Air Plan consultation, alongside further evidence and modelling on the impact of COVID-19 and updated the final approved plan to reflect this.

“This further consultation will help to get further views on two policy issues. Anyone can get involved but we are particularly interested to hear from people who live in or drive through the Worsley area, and leisure vehicle owners.

“The updated proposals aim to ensure that all motorhomes and campervans – that may look similar and have similar emissions – are treated equally, regardless of administrative vehicle categories. I look forward to hearing people’s views.”

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