Fleets asked for input on Manchester CAZ and funding
Businesses and taxi operators in the Greater Manchester area are being invited to have their say on the planned Clean Air Zone and the funding packages being proposed for affected fleets.
The combined authority has been mandated by the Government to explore a Clean Air Zone and a statutory consultation on the planned ‘Clean Air Plan’ package of measures was due in the summer but, as with other councils, it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
It meant that the introduction of the Class C charging Clean Air Zone (including vans and commercial vehicles but not private cars) that’s part of the package has been moved back to spring 2022, from its original 2021 due date.
The consultation is now open and runs until Thursday 3 December, inviting views on key elements of the proposals, including the proposed Clean Air Zone boundary, daily charges for non-compliant vehicles, discounts and exemptions, and support funding.
For businesses and taxi operators, the Clean Air team is hosting a series of webinars, which offer a more detailed presentation and an opportunity to ask questions about the plans and funding packages being proposed.
Councillor Andrew Western, Greater Manchester Green City-region Lead, said that although many businesses have been severely impacted by the pandemic and a further national lockdown, air pollution remains a major issue.
“Many roads across Greater Manchester are in breach of legal limits for nitrogen dioxide, and we need to act now. Our Clean Air Plan is an important part of our post-pandemic recovery, cleaning up our commercial vehicles and providing bus operators and hackney carriage and private hire drivers with access to funding to move to a modern, cleaner fleet – not to tackle congestion.
“It is hugely important for businesses to have their say through the public consultation process to bolster our case and develop our ask of Government for appropriate funds to make sure people get the support they need.”
Western also said the funding package has been developed to provide the right level of support to help businesses and traders upgrade their vehicles to meet the emission standards of the CAZ. The Government has already awarded the combined authority £41m initial funding and leaders are seeking more than £100m further funding, alongside a £10m ‘Hardship fund’ to support those considered most vulnerable to the financial impacts of the CAZ.
“Now is not the time for people and businesses to be silent – we want to hear from everyone so that we can clean up our air together. Your voice will help shape our final plans and, fundamentally, the future of our city-region,” he added.
To access the consultation, click here.