Heavy goods vehicle (HGV)

Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan

Greater Manchester local authorities are working together to develop a Clean Air Plan to tackle air pollution on local roads.

We’ve put together a series of measures that would help us clean up some of Greater Manchester’s most polluting vehicles.

Our proposal aims to achieve legal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on Greater Manchester’s local road network by 2024. 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.
  • To treble the number of electric vehicle public charging points.

If you own or drive a vehicle classed as a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) or have a coach operating a paid-for service which is not a registered bus service in Greater Manchester, these plans could affect you.

We want your views

The plan will be developed in more detail over the coming months, and this is your opportunity to share your views and help us develop the right solutions for Greater Manchester.

Once we’ve done this, we’ll put forward detailed Clean Air Plan proposals for you to comment on again during a statutory public consultation.

Take part in the conversation now and share your views on our proposals to improve air quality. The conversation is open between Monday 13 May and midnight on Sunday 30 June 2019.

You can also download a PDF document which summarises our proposals to improve air quality in Greater Manchester.

What is classed as an HGV?

An HGV is a lorry weighing more than 3.5 tonnes when not carrying a load. This includes smaller lorries with two axles and rigid and articulated lorries with more than two axles.

You can find out more from the Department for Transport’s guide to lorry types and weights.

Would my HGV or coach be affected?

We’re proposing to introduce a Clean Air Zone across the whole of Greater Manchester from 2021.

Vehicles with the dirtiest emissions would be subject to a daily penalty to enter and/or travel within Greater Manchester.

If you own an HGV which has a Euro 5 or earlier engine (typically registered before 2013) you would be likely to pay the daily penalty.

However, if your vehicle has a Euro 6 engine (likely to have been registered from 2013 onwards), you wouldn’t pay a daily penalty to drive in Greater Manchester if a Clean Air Zone is introduced.

You can check whether you would be likely to need to pay to drive in the proposed Clean Air Zone on our vehicle checker.

Why are HGVs and coaches included?

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 this conversation.

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

The feedback we get through this conversation will give us a better understanding of what the daily penalties should be. At this stage the following daily penalty and penalty charge notice (PCN) payment are included in the proposals.

It’s proposed that non-compliant HGVs and coaches would be subject to a daily penalty payment of £100 to enter and/or travel within Greater Manchester from 2021, should a Clean Air Zone be introduced.

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

Clean Freight Fund

We estimate that around 8,000 HGVs (around 26% of those registered in Greater Manchester) would need to pay a daily penalty if a Clean Air Zone was introduced in 2021.

As well as the Clean Air Zone, we’re proposing a number of government-funded schemes for people and businesses in Greater Manchester who own vehicles that would be subject to a Clean Air Zone daily penalty.

Owners of non-compliant HGVs and coaches registered in Greater Manchester could apply to a proposed £59m Clean Freight Fund for financial support to help them to upgrade to cleaner vehicles and so avoid paying the daily penalty.

Subject to government approval, we expect the funds to be available in 2020, so that eligible vehicle owners could apply for funding to help upgrade their vehicles before the proposed Clean Air Zone is introduced.

This might be through upgrading the vehicle or using retrofit technology to reduce the emissions the vehicle produces, so it becomes compliant.

The proposals also include investigating a scheme to offer loans at preferential rates for HGV and coach owners looking to take advantage of the Clean Freight Fund to buy or lease a compliant vehicle.

The Clean Freight Fund and loan scheme are dependent on Greater Manchester receiving sufficient funding from government.

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. The information we gather from this conversation will help shape that, making 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.

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.

Share your views

Thanks for reading about the Clean Air Plan proposals which could affect some HGVs and coaches. You can read more about the proposals as they affect other vehicles elsewhere on this site.

Please share your views by completing our survey.


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)

Keep up-to-date

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