Wigan Borough residents are being encouraged to take part in Greater Manchester’s clean air conversation as local authorities aim to reduce harmful air pollution on local roads and introduce minimum standards for all taxis and private hire vehicles licensed in the area.
The plans are expected to launch in Spring 2022 and include daily charges, exemptions, discounts and a request for more central government funding to support local businesses in buying newer, cleaner vehicles.
People and businesses across Greater Manchester can now take part in a consultation on the proposals, which is running until midnight on Thursday 3 December 2020.
The clean air consultation is asking for views on the Zone’s proposed boundary, the level of daily charges, possible discounts and exemptions and more.
Coun Paul Prescott, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Last year we declared a climate emergency and we remain committed to working with partners and residents to ensure a cleaner, greener and healthier borough. Everyone has a part to play in tackling poor air quality and it’s really important we all contribute if we are to make a difference.
“I would urge everyone to have their say while they can, especially anybody who thinks that they will be affected by the proposals.”
Government has already awarded Greater Manchester £41m initial funding and leaders are seeking more than £100m further funding, alongside a £10m ‘Hardship fund’ to support those considered most vulnerable to the financial impacts of the CAZ.
The purpose of the Zone is to improve air quality by encouraging drivers to upgrade to a cleaner vehicle.
Non-compliant vehicles would start paying the proposed daily charge when the Zone launches with the exception of vans and minibuses, which will start paying in 2023.
Another consultation on proposed Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards (MLS) for taxis and private hire vehicles is running in parallel to the Clean Air Plan.
Greater Manchester’s 10 local councils, supported by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), want to see taxi and private hire services deliver a safe and high-quality experience for everyone, using vehicles that meet high environmental standards
Greater Manchester is proposing the most generous offer of support for taxis of any clean air zone outside of London – providing total funding of up to £17,500 to help taxi owners upgrade their vehicles.
Funding provision is also being made for private hire vehicles licensed by Greater Manchester local authorities to support the upgrade to cleaner vehicles.
Transport for Greater Manchester is co-ordinating the Clean Air and MLS consultations on behalf of the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities. The findings from the consultation will be used to inform the final proposals next year.
Responses can be made online at cleanairgm.com and gmtaxistandards.com.
For support to respond to these consultations or to request copies of the summary documents and questionnaires please email [email protected] or [email protected] or phone 0161 244 1100
For more information and to have your say on the Clean Air Zone plans, click here: https://cleanairgm.com/clean-air-zone
For more information and to have your say on the minimum licensing standards for taxis, click here: https://www.gmtaxistandards.com/consultation/