Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, and Andrew Western, Greater Manchester Lead for Clean Air on the GM Clean Air Zone, have released this statement:
“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. We also warned them of our ongoing concerns about the vehicle supply chain and the cooperation of National Highways.
“Over the past few months, Greater Manchester has continued to monitor these issues alongside the ongoing 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. We are committed to reducing air pollution in Greater Manchester but also to protecting the jobs and livelihoods of our residents. We are listening carefully to concerns being expressed about the current situation and will make a decision shortly on our next steps.”
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