Public will not have a say on Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone until early 2023

Clean Air Zone sign
The controversial clean air zone was supposed to come into force in May 2022 - but it has been delayed.

A public consultation on the latest proposals for Greater Manchester's Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is set to take place in early 2023, a new report has revealed.

People will have a chance to comment on the changes to the scheme which was delayed after a huge backlash, the Local Democracy Service reports.

The CAZ, which could see daily charges of up to £60 for some of the most polluting vehicles on the region's roads, is under review.

It comes after the government agreed to delay the deadline by which air quality must meet legal standards to 2026,

But now, local leaders want to scrap all charges and help fund vehicle upgrades using the £120m that the government has agreed to give the region.

Councillors approved a draft document in July 2022 which claims this 'investment-led approach' will achieve air quality compliance by 2026.

Ministers are yet to respond to this latest plan which is set to be submitted to the government in its final form following a meeting on 16 August.

However, environment secretary George Eustice said there is 'little robust evidence' that it will work and suggested still charging taxis, vans, buses and lorries in the city centre.

'Targeted engagement' on the proposal is taking place including an online survey for vehicle owners which will launch in the coming weeks.

Environment Secretary George Eustice. Credit: PA images

Transport bosses say this input will help inform the development of the plan. But the wider public will not have a say on the new proposals until early 2023.

A spokesperson for RethinkGM, a campaign group set up in opposition to the Clear Air Zone, said: "It is extremely disappointing that leadership of Greater Manchester continue to ignore the public and residents of the region once again, by leaving public consultation on any CAZ scheme until early 2023.

"With a national cost of living crisis currently under way and residents now choosing between eating, heating and survival, GMCA still fail in their duty to residents and maintain their ill-advised attempt to impose further unnecessary limitations on livelihoods.

"It is quite clear that this scheme now needs scrapping in full and consideration given to the poor, low paid, business and those suffering above all else."

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