Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan proposals

Greater Manchester is working hard to tackle air pollution, which is damaging our health.

Unless we take action, roads across Greater Manchester will continue to have dangerously high levels of pollutants including harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2). This can contribute to a wide range of illnesses and health conditions.

The government has instructed Greater Manchester and many other areas to develop Clean Air Plans to bring levels of NO2 on local roads within legal limits as soon as possible.

So Greater Manchester is now working together to produce a single approach for the whole region.

We have considered a wide range of measures that could help reduce roadside NO2 levels and carried out extensive work to help develop a proposed package of measures.

These measures would tackle the roadside NO2 issue as quickly and effectively as possible, while also protecting local people, businesses and the economy. They include:

  • A Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone which the most polluting buses, coaches, HGVs, vans, taxis and private hire vehicles would pay a daily penalty to drive in.
  • A multi-million pound funding package to support local businesses and sole traders to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.
  • Trebling the number of electric vehicle public charging points.

The proposed Clean Air Zone

We are proposing the introduction of a Clean Air Zone across the whole of Greater Manchester in two phases from 2021 and 2023.

The most polluting vehicles would pay a daily penalty to enter and/or travel within the Clean Air Zone. This would include some buses, coaches, lorries, vans, taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses, motorhomes and motorised horseboxes.

It would not include cars (other than private hire vehicles), motorbikes or mopeds.

See if your vehicle could be affected on our Clean Air Zone vehicle checker.

The vehicles included in the Clean Air Zone proposals are based around intensity and frequency of use. Commercial and passenger transport vehicles are used much more intensively, and are often operating in town and city centres with greater frequency, so the benefit of cleaning them up is far greater.

All vehicle types were considered in the development of the current proposals, which are based around the requirement to achieve legal levels of NO2 on Greater Manchester’s local road network in the shortest possible time. Read more.

How would the Clean Air Zone work?

The Clean Air Zone would cover the whole of Greater Manchester, so we don’t shift pollution from one area to another.

The exact boundary will be developed by looking in detail at the local road network and using feedback from the public conversation exercise. Visit to see a map of the Greater Manchester boundary.

The Clean Air Zone would:

  • Apply to local roads (not motorways and some main trunk roads managed by Highways England).
  • Operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Mean a daily penalty for non-compliant vehicles driving into, inside and through Greater Manchester.

Any income from the Clean Air Zone would be used to cover its running costs. After that, any leftover money would be spent on improving transport in Greater Manchester. This might include improvements to public transport and cycling and walking schemes.

Daily penalties

At this stage the following daily penalty and penalty charge notice (PCN) payment are included in the proposals.

It’s proposed that non-compliant vehicles would be subject to the following daily penalty payments to enter and/or travel within Greater Manchester from 2021, should a Clean Air Zone be introduced.

  • Buses, coaches and HGVs - £100 (from 2021)
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles - £7.50 (from 2021)
  • Vans and minibuses - £7.50 (from 2023)

If the daily penalty is not paid, a PCN payment of £120 is proposed which would be in addition to the original daily penalty.

Funding to clean up Greater Manchester’s non-compliant vehicles

Alongside the Clean Air Zone, we are proposing a number of Government-funded schemes for people and businesses in Greater Manchester who own vehicles that would be subject to the Clean Air Zone daily penalty.

This financial support would help them to upgrade to a cleaner vehicle which would not be subject to the daily penalty.

The proposals also include investigating a scheme to offer loans at preferential rates for those taking advantage of the funds.

Under our current proposals, the funds will support:

  • Taxis and private hire vehicles licensed in Greater Manchester.
  • HGVs and vans, minibuses and coaches (and other commercial vehicles such as motorhomes and motorised horseboxes may be eligible) which are registered in Greater Manchester.
  • Buses operating in Greater Manchester.

You can find out more about the proposed funds on the following pages:

Who would be eligible for funding?

We don’t yet have details of how you could apply for funding, or how much the funding could be for each vehicle. We're working to develop the details to make sure that we help those who need it most first.

Under our current proposals:

  • The Clean Freight Fund would support vehicles which are registered in Greater Manchester.
  • Taxis and PHVs which are licensed outside Greater Manchester would not be eligible for support, regardless of whether or not they travel into Greater Manchester.

Supporting measures

We’re proposing a range of supporting measures to help Greater Manchester’s people and businesses clean up our air. This includes:

  • Funding and support to help Greater Manchester move to electric vehicles.
  • Helping Greater Manchester switch to greener transport.
  • Local authority and Greater Manchester fleet upgrades (e.g. gritters, park maintenance vehicles).
  • A review of council parking policies.
  • Working with operators to support increased bus travel.

Current status and next steps

Earlier this year, the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities considered the Clean Air Plan Outline Business Case and it was submitted to government in March 2019.

A seven-week 'Clean Air conversation' - giving the general public, businesses and stakeholders the chance to give their views on the proposals - ended on 30 June 2019. We are now using the feedback we received during the conversation to develop the detailed proposals.

A statutory public consultation will follow, giving another opportunity for comment and feedback before proposals are resubmitted to local authorities for their further consideration and approval.

A Full Business Case would then be developed and submitted to government. Subject to government approval and funding, measures would be introduced from 2020, with the Clean Air Zone being introduced in two phases from 2021 and 2023.

You can subscribe for news and updates, including a link to the consultation webpage once it's live.

Keep up-to-date

You can keep up-to-date on our proposals:

Further background information

Read A summary of our proposals to improve air quality for Greater Manchester (PDF format)
Read A summary of our proposals to improve air quality for Greater Manchester (RTF format)
Read GMCA reports
Read Outline Business Case
Read Strategic Outline Case