Planned 'Clean Air Zone' for Greater Manchester to be reviewed

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Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone would be the biggest in the country Credit: PA

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says the proposed 'clean air tax' due to come in later this year will be reviewed because of concerns about the impact it will have on businesses.

Under the current proposals, from 30 May, drivers of certain vehicles will be charged every day to drive anywhere in the county in a bid to cut down on air pollution.

Private cars, cars, motorbikes, and mopeds won’t be affected, but some vehicles that do not meet emissions standards will be charged.

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone due to come in in May Credit: Clean Air GM

The charges range from £7.50 for taxis and private hire vehicles, and £10 for vans and minibuses, all the way through to £60 for buses, coaches, and HGVs.

The plans are now being reviewed though, after a huge backlash from businesses, and thousands of people signed a petition calling for it to be scrapped.

What area does it cover?

The proposed Clean Air Zone covers all ten boroughs across Greater Manchester Credit: Ordnance Survey

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says the Government needs to do more to support businesses who have already been affected by the pandemic, before the planned clean air tax comes in.

Andy Burnham says Gtr Manchester Clean Air Tax will be reviewed Credit: PA

He issued a joint statement with Councillor Andrew Western, the city-region’s Clean Air lead earlier.

The said: “In March 2020, the Government instructed all ten Greater Manchester councils to introduce a charging Clean Air Zone to tackle harmful levels of air pollution and achieve compliance with legal standards by 2024 at the latest.

“We know this is a major challenge for many individuals and businesses which is why we have always been clear with Ministers that it must be accompanied by a fair package of financial support.

"While the Government has provided £120m, we are concerned that they have so far failed to agree to our request for additional support for those who will find it hardest to make the change.

“Over the past few months, Greater Manchester has continued to monitor these issues alongside the on-going impact of the pandemic and increases in the cost of living.

"In addition, late last year we commissioned new work to understand the impact of the growing global supply chain issues in the automotive sector which could affect the availability of some vehicles and people’s ability to upgrade.

“Greater Manchester leaders will consider the outcome of this work next week before asking the Clean Air Joint Committee to consider the implications for the Clean Air Plan later in the month."

Defra says it will consider further funding if it's proved there's a need for it Credit: PA

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has responded and said the Clean Air fund has already given Greater Manchester £132m to support businesses most impacted by the Clean Air Zone.

It says it will consider further funding requirements for Greater Manchester 'subject to evidence of need once the support schemes are operational'.