Greater Manchester has received a ministerial instruction to accelerate by two years plans to include vans in its Clean Air Zone.
The instruction to include vans at an earlier date would see small businesses using non-compliant vans paying a daily charge 18 months from now, rather than the city-region’s proposed timeframe of 2023.
Greater Manchester is asking the Government to “play fair on clean air”, following receipt of a letter from minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP to the ten Greater Manchester local authorities in response to the GM Clean Air Plan Outline Business Case.
In the Government’s response to the GM Clean Air Plan proposals, it directs Greater Manchester to implement a Clean Air Zone category C (where non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles, lorries and vans would pay a daily penalty for entering or travelling within the zone) in 2021. This differs to the proposals submitted to government, where non-compliant vans were proposed to be exempt from the daily penalties until 2023.
Greater Manchester had also requested £116m of clean vehicle funding to help local businesses upgrade to clean vehicles and thereby avoid any penalty for travelling through the Clean Air Zone. This included a £59m Clean Freight Fund, for upgrading HGVs and vans. Instead the Government is offering £36m in funding, ring-fenced to create a network of cameras that would issue fines to those in breach.
The BVRLA has been working closely with Transport for Greater Manchester to discuss the impact of the proposals on local businesses and will continue to do so. It will also be responding to the statutory consultation which will be held later in 2019 on the detailed proposals.