Martin Lewis gives money-saving advice on VED car tax
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Councillor Paul Heslop has said opposition to the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone scheme is “certainly growing” in his borough. He claimed “democracy had a habit of coming back to bite those” who go against the people’s wishes in a warning to organisers looking to implement the new driving law.
He said: “It is worrying that the Government feels that it can ride roughshod over the will of the people who less than a generation ago voted four to one against a charge for motorists in Greater Manchester.
“Thankfully, democracy has a habit of coming back to bite those who try to hoodwink citizens and we [have] now seen the birth of a movement on social media that is taking this issue forward, a group set up only a few weeks ago now has nearly 30,000 followers.”
An online social media group now has almost 50,000 members as residents hit back against the changes.
He told The Bolton News: “Opposition to the proposed Clean Air Charge is certainly growing in Kearsley and I have been approached by many residents who will be affected by the changes.”
Mr Heslop said over 100,000 residents in the borough previously voted four to one against road charges.
However, the Government has instructed all the Manchester boroughs to introduce a charging zone to tackle pollution levels.
The decision was made back in March 2020 before the pandemic took hold and will finally launch in the city this spring.
Private cars and motorbikes are exempt from all charges under the new scheme.
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Instead, charges will be issued to light goods vehicles such as vans and private hire vehicles.
But, Mr Heslop warned most enquiries have come from “small businesses” concerned about how they will be hit with the fees.
Clean Air GM has said drivers who are affected by the new charges can apply for money under the Financial Support Scheme.
They said Government funding is available to help “people, businesses and organisations move to cleaner” models.
The Financial Support Scheme is currently open to applications from HGV owners.
However, they said applications for other vehicle owners will “open in late January 2022”.
Drivers can check whether their vehicle could face Clean Air Zone charges online.
GOV.UK has launched an online vehicle checker where drivers can see if charges will apply in any of the UK charging zones.
This includes Bath, Birmingham and Portsmouth as well as the other scheme to launch in 2022, in Bradford.
To check, drivers just need to search their registration number plate details on the online service.
Clean Air GM has also launched their own online vehicle checker where drivers can answer a range of simple questions.
This will give drivers an idea of whether they are likely to face fees and how much they may be forced to pay.
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