Government has agreed that the Greater Manchester charging Clean Air Zone will not go ahead on 30 May 2022.
The Zone was designed to comply with a legal direction from government issued before the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, there have been significant changes in the market for vehicles compliant with Clean Air Zone standards, particularly vans, and the cost of living has increased. This means that the Zone would not have achieved its aim to bring air pollution within legal limits, but could have caused significant financial hardship for people affected.
We’re committed to cleaning up the air our residents breathe in a way that helps people to make the change to cleaner vehicles, and protects jobs, livelihoods and businesses. We’re now working with government to deliver a new Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester by July 2022.Find out more
Moving to a cleaner vehicle
The original Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan included a Greater Manchester-wide category C charging Clean Air Zone. Only the most polluting vehicles which don’t meet emission standards would have been charged to drive in the Zone. This would have included some non-compliant vans, HGVs, buses, coaches, minibuses, taxis and private hire vehicles.
While the first phase of the Zone will not now go ahead on 30 May, Greater Manchester still has £120m in government funding. The distribution of the remaining funds will be reviewed and aligned to the new Clean Air Plan, as agreed with government. This will help affected people upgrade to compliant vehicles to support the implementation of the new Plan.
We are still accepting funding applications from eligible bus and HGV owners. You can sign up to our newsletter to get updates about the new Clean Air Plan and any further vehicle funding support that may become available. In the meantime, find out more about other support and funding that may be available to you below.
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Some vehicle engines can be ‘retrofitted’ to reduce their emissions. Retrofitting has been an option for buses for several years and is an emerging technology for other commercial vehicles.
All retrofit options that are compliant with a Clean Air Zone must be government-approved, through the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS). More details on the CVRAS process and suppliers are available from the Energy Saving Trust.
Leasing a vehicle may be a more affordable way to get a vehicle that meets Clean Air Zone emissions standards. Information on leasing is available from the BVRLA (British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association).
To support SMEs in Manchester to prepare for the Clean Air Zone, advice and tailored services are available from the Growth Company to help businesses grow by becoming more resource efficient, reducing operational energy usage and encouraging businesses to utilise low carbon technologies.
A virtual Low Carbon Network for raising the profile of businesses in the low carbon and environmental goods and services sector and improving the visibility of local supply chains.
Green Growth Pledges are a range of actions - from simple first steps to wholesale changes - that will reduce your environmental impact and help you grow at the same time. You can choose from a number of different categories that suit you and build your expertise in each one.
Business support from your local council
You may also want to take a look at the support available through your local authority, whether you are based in or outside Greater Manchester. Their business support teams provide a variety of services. Get in touch to find out how they may be able to support you.
If you’re unsure which local authority area your business is based in, you can find out here.