Clean air plans

Cleaning up our air

Air pollution is linked to a range of very serious health conditions and contributes to early deaths. Greater Manchester is taking action to improve air quality on local roads – now and for future generations.

All 10 Greater Manchester local authority areas have worked together to develop a joint Clean Air Plan. This will bring NO2 levels on local roads within legal limits as soon as possible. The plan includes a Clean Air Zone, and a proposal for more than £150m government funding support to help local businesses prepare.

A public consultation on these proposals took place between 8 October and 3 December 2020. Work is now under way to assess the information and evidence gathered. The final Clean Air Plan is expected to be considered as soon as possible and no later than summer 2021.

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone

Government has directed Greater Manchester to introduce a Category C Clean Air Zone. We expect the Zone will be introduced from spring 2022.

Vans, buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses and heavy goods vehicles that do not meet emission standards would pay a daily charge to travel in the Zone. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds are not included.

The Clean Air Zone is designed to improve air quality by encouraging upgrades to cleaner vehicles. It is not the same as a Congestion Charge Zone, where all or most vehicles are charged to drive.

All roads within Greater Manchester will be included in the Clean Air Zone, with the exception of those roads managed by Highways England, such as motorways and trunk roads. You can see this in detail by viewing the Clean Air Zone map

The Zone would run 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. It would be enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. Those vehicles liable to pay the charge would pay using the Government’s online portal. Discounts and exemptions will be put in place for some vehicle types. Some exemptions are temporary, some are permanent, and some are for vehicles licensed with the Greater Manchester authorities only.

The following daily charges were proposed for non-compliant commercial vehicles during public consultation:

  • Buses, coaches and Heavy Good Vehicles (HGV) – £60 (from spring 2022)
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – £7.50 (from spring 2022)
  • Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) such as vans and minibuses – £10 (temporary exemption until 2023)

If the daily charge for a non-compliant vehicle isn’t paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £120 would be issued, in addition to the unpaid daily charge. This would be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Some vehicles would be exempt from the daily charge. The Government’s Clean Air Zone Framework sets permanent exemptions for historic vehicles, military vehicles, disabled passenger vehicles, and specialist emergency service vehicles.

In addition to these national exemptions, there will be some local and permanent exemptions and discounts for the Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone.

Clean vehicle funding

We’re asking for more than £150m of government funding to help Greater Manchester’s people, businesses and organisations prepare. It includes a proposed £10m Hardship Fund to support those most financially impacted by the proposals. Of the total request, £41m funding is already confirmed by government and further awards are anticipated.

Eligible van, heavy goods vehicle, bus, coach, taxi, private hire vehicle or minibus owners in Greater Manchester would be able to apply for financial support. This would be as a lump sum grant or contribution towards vehicle financing. Owners or registered keepers of non-compliant vehicles in Greater Manchester can use this funding to move to cleaner, compliant vehicles and not have to pay a daily charge.

How do the proposals affect my vehicle?

The following vehicles are included in the Category C Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone. They are all commercial or passenger vehicles that use our local roads more than private cars.

Light Goods Vehicle (LGV) and minibus

This includes vans, minibuses and motorised horseboxes (3.5t and under).

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Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV)

This includes lorries with two axles, rigid/articulated lorries with more than two axles and motorised horseboxes (over 3.5t).

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Taxi & Private Hire Vehicle (PHV)

This includes London-style ‘black cabs’ and other vehicles licensed as hackney carriages or private hire vehicles.

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Bus and coach

These are vehicles designed to carry passengers, with more than 16 passenger seats.

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Check your vehicle

The category C Clean Air Zone vehicle categories and minimum emission standards are set out in the Clean Air Zone framework in Appendix 1 of the consultation document.*

Has your vehicle been retrofitted to meet the Euro retro 6 standard?

*The Clean Air Plan proposals are still being developed, so the results of this vehicle checker are only a guide. In the meantime, please contact us at if your vehicle type isn’t listed.

Your answer...

Fill in the questions to see what class of vehicle you own and whether you would have to pay a daily charge to travel in the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.

*The Clean Air Plan proposals are still being developed, so the results of this vehicle checker are only a guide. In the meantime, please contact us at if your vehicle type isn’t listed.

Next steps

The Clean Air Plan process has a number of legal and statutory stages. Scroll to find out more.

The impacts of COVID-19

The Government has asked Greater Manchester to progress the Clean Air Plan based on proposals developed before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has led to reduced air pollution in the short term. Analysis has shown that this will not be enough to meet legal limits for harmful nitrogen dioxide emissions in the longer term without a Clean Air Zone.

Work is under way to assess and understand all the information gathered through the autumn 2020 consultation. Further work is also taking place to understand the economic impact of COVID-19 on people and businesses affected by the plans, as this may alter the level of support funding needed from government.

This will help shape the final Clean Air Plan, which will be put to decision makers in the ten Greater Manchester local authorities as soon as possible and no later than summer 2021.

Electric vehicles

We’re already increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points in Greater Manchester. 25 new rapid chargers are being installed on the existing Be.EV public charging network and all existing chargers have been upgraded. We’ll also be installing 30 rapid charging points for use by taxi and private hire drivers only, and we’re bidding for funding for a further 40.

We are working with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) to secure funding to install around 300 more public charging points. Some of these would also be for electric taxis and private hire vehicles only. We’ll also continue to hold events to give people and businesses the information and support they need to upgrade to an electric vehicle.

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What can you do?

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