Leaders call for government meeting on Clean Air Plan proposals

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and Greater Manchester Green City-region lead, Councillor Andrew Western, have today (Tuesday 16 July) called for an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for the Environment to discuss the government’s response to the region’s Clean Air Plan proposals.

The proposals to tackle harmful nitrogen dioxide on local roads were submitted to government at the end of March 2019. Environment minister Dr Thérèse Coffey MP responded on 10 July 2019.

The government has directed the region's 10 local authorities to implement a category C Clean Air Zone (where non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles, lorries and vans would pay a daily penalty for entering or travelling within the zone) across the whole of Greater Manchester in 2021.

This differs to the Greater Manchester proposals submitted to government, where non-compliant vans were proposed to be exempt from daily penalties until 2023.

Government says it will provide £36 million for councils to implement the Clean Air Zone, but has asked for further evidence around the funding requirements to clean up Greater Manchester’s non-compliant vehicles.

The details of the letter and the actions required are currently being reviewed. A report will be submitted to the July meeting of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) explaining the proposed next steps for the region to tackle poor air quality through the Clean Air Plan.

Greater Manchester will continue to work with local stakeholders on the impact of the proposals. A public conversation on the proposals has recently ended and the results and analysis will help shape the detailed proposals. A statutory consultation will be held later in 2019 on the detailed proposals.

You can read the ministerial direction on the government’s air quality policy paper webpage, and a news release on the GMCA website.