Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is set to launch on May 30, 2022, despite intense backlash from drivers and residents. The zone, which would be the largest of its kind in the UK, has sparked fierce debate over whether the charges for non-compliant vehicles are too much.
Greater Manchester authorities and Mayor Andy Burnham have called on the central Government to pause funding to upgrade vehicles to cleaner models.
Many operators have been unable to access new vehicles due to shortages and record prices in the used car market.
Global semiconductor shortages have caused massive delays to the manufacturing of new vehicles, especially with new electric cars and vans.
Manchester’s CAZ was set to charge non-compliant coaches and HGVs will be charged £60 to enter the zone.
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“I ask him to make time for a debate so that this House can tell the Mayor of Greater Manchester and all the Labour politicians, including the Labour leader of Bury Council, that that plan is not acceptable.
“The voice of Parliament must be heard and that my constituents must not be penalised in that manner.”
Greater Manchester had secured £120million in Government funding to help fleets upgrade to cleaner, compliant vehicles.
Around £87.9million had been earmarked for its Clean Commercial Fund to upgrade vans, HGVs, coaches and minibuses.
The rest of the funding was designated to the Clean Taxi Fund for GM-licenced taxi and private hire owners, drivers and operators.
Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, responded to Mr Daly, saying: “Labour’s plan is essentially a tax on jobs, a tax on working people and an attack on the motorist.
“The Labour party hates the motorist because the socialist does not like the independence that motoring brings to people. Again and again, Labour wants to attack the motorist.
“Labour’s plan, Mr Burnham’s plan, the socialist plan, the left-wing plan for a tax on working people in Greater Manchester is something that he is right to campaign against.”
The CAZ plans have since been referred back to the Government, with Andy Burnham saying the zone had to be “fair for everyone”.
Other cities in the UK have already launched their own emissions zones including Bath last March, Birmingham in June and Portsmouth in November.
London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone was also expanded last year to encompass most of the capital in a bid to further reduce pollution rates.
It is set to be England’s biggest CAZ, spanning 10 local authority areas across Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the cities of Manchester and Salford).