Work is under way to get ready for the Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone (CAZ), launching on 30th May 2022, with the first Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras now installed, and a Financial Support Scheme due to launch in November.
All ten Greater Manchester local authorities have approved the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan, which includes a government directed ‘Category C’ charging CAZ.
GM has secured more than £120m government funding to help local businesses, people and organisations to upgrade to cleaner vehicles, so they can travel in a GM-wide CAZ without incurring a daily charge.
The CAZ is a key component of Greater Manchester’s green revolution, helping to tackle the problem of air pollution, which contributes towards at least 1,200 deaths per year in the city-region.
The Zone is just one of several being introduced in the UK to tackle harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution on local roads, with Zones now live in Bath and Birmingham.
The first ANPR camera was installed on Vernon Street in Bolton in August, with around 850 more to follow to enforce any non-payment of daily charges. CAZ 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.
The ten GM councils are under direction from government to introduce the category C CAZ to secure compliance with NO2 legal limits on local roads in the shortest possible time, and by 2024 at the latest.
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.
Greater Manchester lead for Clean Air, Councillor Andrew Western, 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 ten 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.
“Our clean vehicle funds service will launch in November and I’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be affected to get up to speed at cleanairgm.com, where they can sign up for regular updates.”