Manchester Clean Air Zone set for delay?

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The possibility of a delay to the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has been raised by Elected Mayor Andy Burnham.

Mr Burnham has accused the government of dragging its heels on clarifying the funding that will be available to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to help affected businesses upgrade their fleets to comply with the CAZ, which is the largest yet proposed.

GMCA submitted its Clean Air Plan to the government nearly a year ago. Without the guarantee of funding, formal plans for the introduction of a CAZ cannot be finalised because GMCA is unable to complete is proposals. It is thus not able to submit a full business case.

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone plans include a £100 daily charge for non-compliant coaches and buses. That has been criticised by bus operators’ association OneBus. It points out that the sector contributes only 6% of NOx in the region.

On the delay to government approval, Mr Burnham says: “Our plan is ambitious, but it needs a multi-million-pound financial support package to help local businesses and it requires the government to not duck from its responsibilities.

“The government needs to commit the funds to delivering this vital work and supporting companies across the region to move towards a more sustainable future.”

The Greater Manchester CAZ is scheduled for introduction in 2021. No dates have yet been set for the public consultation.