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The clean air zone in Greater Manchester is set to be the largest scheme of this type in the UK and one of the biggest in the world once it launches in May 2022. Greater Manchester Combined Authority is seeking approval to partially delay the rollout of the zone, citing evidence that global supply chain issues make it harder for drivers to comply.

This comes after a number of protests have been held to criticise the planned rollout of the zone.

Motorists held a “go-slow” protest on the motorway last weekend which led to heavy traffic building up on the M60 for around two hours.

Another protest saw some farmers bringing sheep and a pony onto the 471 bus from Bolton to Bury.

Highly polluting vehicles are set to be charged £60 per day to drive into the area which encompasses a number of towns like Oldham and Bury inside the Greater Manchester zone.

Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “In March 2020, the Government issued a legal direction requiring the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities to address the problem by introducing a Category C charging clean air zone.

“The current Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan was prepared with Government to meet the terms of this direction to achieve legal NO2 Limit Values in the shortest possible time and by 2024 at the latest.

“Throughout development of the Plan, the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities have worked to understand and address the economic consequences of the national plan for businesses that operate locally.

“It is clear the path to compliance with the legal direction and to cleaner air is dependent on the ability of those owning the most polluting non-compliant vehicles to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.”

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The Plan included £120million of Government funding to support those with non-compliant vehicles to upgrade.

Similar funding boosts were also given to scrappage or exchange schemes with Bath, Birmingham and Bath clean air zones and the expansion of London’s ultra low emission zone (ULEZ).

Mr Boylan went on to say: “Since the current plan was agreed in July 2021, emerging evidence from businesses and trade has highlighted significant challenges related to supply chain issues and inflation.

“Based on this evidence, there is a fundamental concern that these global and national factors may impact on the ability of local businesses and individuals to upgrade their vehicles and whether the current financial support package agreed with Government.

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