Birmingham: Head of Clean Air Zone 'optimistic' about success
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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.
Taxis and private hire vehicles would be charged £7.50 per day, although a temporary exemption is in place until May 31, 2023, for Greater Manchester-licensed vehicles.
Bury North MP James Daly, raised the issue in the House of Common Commons, saying the CAZ would be a “disaster” for his constituents.
He said: “The Labour party’s tax on business, otherwise known as the Greater Manchester clean air zone, is a disaster for my constituents.
“It is impacting taxi drivers, small businesses and many others over an area of 493 square miles.”
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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.
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