Proposed Clean Air Zone boundary and roads in breach of legal limits

The interactive map below shows the border of Greater Manchester with a thick black line and the current proposed Clean Air Zone border in a thick blue line. The map also shows in red 152 stretches of road in our region which are likely to have NO2 levels in breach of legal limits beyond 2020 if no action is taken. The roads excluded from the Clean Air Zone are shown in purple.

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About the roads within the Clean Air Zone

The proposed boundary of the CAZ would follow the existing administrative boundary of Greater Manchester as closely as possible, excluding the Strategic Road Network (SRN) which is managed by Highways England. The CAZ boundary has been set with the principle that signage would be clear so that vehicle drivers who do not wish to enter the CAZ can take an alternative route.

There is a proposal to exclude a small stretch of the A555 from the junction with the B5166 in the west to the junction with A523 in the east (from Styal Road to the Macclesfield Road junction). This is to enable movements between Poynton and Handforth (which are towns located in the district of Cheshire East), to continue uncharged, given the expectation that implementing a charge would result in local journeys returning to the roads that the A555 was designed to reduce.

The 10 GM Authorities continue to ask the Government to direct Highways England to tackle NO2 exceedances on the Strategic Road Network (SRN) in the same way GM Authorities are having to take action on the local road network.

Tameside MBC have highlighted to Ministers that the inconsistency in approach is leaving many of their most vulnerable residents unprotected, particularly, around the A628/A57, a strategically important trans Pennine route that passes through the villages of Hollingworth and Mottram as a single carriageway. This route, managed by Highways England, will be left with NO2 exceedances that are not being addressed, despite the area being declared as part of GM’s Air Quality Management Area.

Government ministers have agreed to consider extending Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) charges to the sections of the A628/A57 which form part of the Strategic Road Network, within the proposed CAZ boundary. The extension of any charges to the A628/A57 will be subject to a full assessment of the potential impacts, to be led by Highways England. This will cover air quality impacts on other roads, safety impacts, carbon impacts, as well as wider issues for Highways England, such as operational and network issues. Following the assessment ministers will take the final decision on whether or not charging should be implemented on the A628/A57. Tameside officers will be involved in the work to ensure that it comes to a collective conclusion about the outcomes of the assessment, which is expected to be completed by early 2021.