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 (GM) is taking action to improve air quality on local roads – now and for future generations.

All ten local authorities have worked together to develop the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan. This will help bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits by 2024. The final Clean Air Plan has now been approved by the councils, following a public consultation and further development work.

It includes a Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone, which is anticipated to launch on 30 May 2022. More than £120m in government funding will also be available to support eligible Greater Manchester businesses, people and organisations to move to cleaner vehicles before the Zone is introduced. Read on to find out if your vehicle is affected.

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone

The Clean Air Zone will improve air quality by encouraging some vehicle owners to upgrade to cleaner vehicles – or pay a daily charge. It’s not the same as a Congestion Charge Zone, where all or most vehicles are charged to drive.

The Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone is expected to launch on Monday 30 May 2022. It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round, and include most local roads in Greater Manchester. Most roads managed by Highways England, such as motorways and trunk roads, will not be included, with a few exceptions.

The categories of vehicles included in the Clean Air Zone, and minimum emission standards, are set by government in its Clean Air Zone Framework. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds are not included in the Zone. The following vehicles would pay a daily charge if they don’t meet emission standards:

• Light goods vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches, hackney cabs, private hire vehicles and minibuses.

There will also be some temporary and permanent exemptions, and discounts.

Find out more about roads included in the Zone.

Owners of non-compliant vehicles will pay a daily charge through the government’s online charging service. The following daily charges will apply:

  • Buses and heavy goods vehicles (HGV) – £60 (from 30 May 2022)
  • Coaches – £60 (temporary exemption until 1 June 2023)
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – £7.50 (from 30 May 2022, temporary exemption for Greater Manchester-licensed vehicles until 1 June 2023)
  • Light goods vehicles (LGV) such as vans and minibuses – £10 (temporary exemption until 1 June 2023)

The Zone will be enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras (see privacy notices). If the daily charge for a non-compliant vehicle isn’t paid, there will be a liability to pay a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £120 in addition to the unpaid daily charge. This would be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

The Financial Support Scheme will open in late November 2021 for applications from heavy goods vehicles (HGV). Applications are due to open for other affected vehicle types from January 2022. Sign up now to be notified when applications to the Financial Support Scheme are open, and for other Clean Air Zone updates.

The government funding available will be targeted to support Greater Manchester’s people, smaller businesses, sole traders and the voluntary sector, and to clean up the oldest, dirtiest vehicles. Moving to a compliant vehicle (by either retrofitting or replacing your vehicle) before the Clean Air Zone is introduced means you will not have to pay a daily charge.

Support will be available as a lump sum grant, contribution towards vehicle financing, or a combination of the two. You can see if your vehicle is affected by using the vehicle checker below.

A range of accredited vehicle retrofit options are now available that achieve emissions equivalent to Euro VI level. You can check if a retrofit solution is available for your vehicle at the Energy Saving Trust website.

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.

There will also be some local temporary and permanent exemptions and permanent discounts for the Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone. Owners or registered keepers of eligible non-compliant vehicles will be able to apply for a temporary exemption from January 2022. Check back here and sign up to the CleanAirGM newsletter to be notified when applications are live.

Is my vehicle affected by the Clean Air Zone?

The following vehicle categories are included in the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds are not included.

Light goods vehicle (LGV)

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

Find out more

Heavy goods vehicle (HGV)

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

Find out more

Taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV)

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

Find out more

Bus and coach

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

Find out more

Check your vehicle

The vehicle categories and minimum emission standards for the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone are set out in the government’s Clean Air Zone framework.

If you are unsure of your vehicle type please use the government’s vehicle enquiry service, which advises the category as ‘vehicle type approval’. Please contact us at info@cleanairgm.com if your vehicle type isn’t listed.

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

* The results of this vehicle checker are only a guide. The Clean Air Zone is anticipated to launch on 30 May 2022, subject to joint agreement with government on scheme readiness, including the Central Charging Portal and national vehicle checker.

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 results of this vehicle checker are only a guide. The Clean Air Zone is anticipated to launch on 30 May 2022, subject to joint agreement with government on scheme readiness, including the Central Charging Portal and national vehicle checker.

Next steps

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

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