Taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV)

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.
  • Trebling the number of electric vehicle public charging points.

If you own or drive a taxi or a private hire vehicle (PHV) in Greater Manchester, these plans could affect you.

Greater Manchester taxi and PHV common minimum standards

The 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester have been working together to come up with a set of common minimum standards for taxis and PHV drivers, operators and licensing authorities.

These standards will be aligned to the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan proposals.

A public consultation will be held on the minimum standards and this will take place alongside the consultation on the detailed Clean Air Plan, to make sure the two areas complement each other.

Would my vehicle be affected by a Clean Air Zone?

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 pay a daily penalty to to enter and/or travel within Greater Manchester.

  • Taxi: taxis with a diesel Euro 5 or earlier engine (typically registered before 2016), are likely to be subject to the daily penalty.

However, taxis with a Euro 6 engine (likely to have been registered from 2016 onwards) or an ultra-low emission engine, wouldn’t be subject to a daily penalty if a Clean Air Zone is introduced.

  • PHV: PHVs with a diesel Euro 5 or earlier engine (typically registered before 2016), or a Euro 3 or earlier petrol engine (typically registered before 2005), are likely to be subject to the daily penalty.

However, PHVs with a Euro 6 engine (likely to have been registered from 2016 onwards), a Euro 4 or later petrol engine (typically registered from 2005 onwards), or an ultra-low emission engine, wouldn’t be subject to a daily penalty if a Clean Air Zone is introduced.

You can check whether a vehicle is likely to be subject to a daily penalty in the proposed Clean Air Zone on our vehicle checker.

Why are taxis and PHVs 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 engagement with residents, businesses and stakeholders.

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

At this stage the following daily penalty and penalty charge notice (PCN) payments are included in the proposals.

It’s proposed that non-compliant taxis and PHVs would be subject to a daily penalty of £7.50 to drive in 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.

Would PHVs be subject to a daily penalty when being used domestically?

As part of developing the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan further we’ll need to consider how to account for PHVs, and any other relevant vehicles, that are being used by their owners for private domestic use.

Clean Taxi Fund

We estimate that almost 1,400 taxis (around 69% of those registered in Greater Manchester) and just over 4,000 PHVs (about 36% 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 Taxis and PHVs licensed in Greater Manchester could apply to a proposed £28m Clean Taxi Fund for financial support 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. You can find out more about retrofit technologies from the Energy Saving Trust website.

The proposals also include investigating a scheme to offer loans at preferential rates for GM-licensed taxi and PHV owners looking to take advantage of the Clean Taxi Fund to buy or lease a compliant vehicle.

The Clean Taxi 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, but we're working to develop the details to make sure that we help those who need it most first.

Under our current proposals, taxis and PHVs which are licensed outside Greater Manchester would not be eligible for this support, regardless of whether or not they travel into 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.

Current status and next steps

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

Earlier this year, the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities considered the Clean Air Plan Outline Business Case and it was submitted to government in March 2019.

A seven-week 'Clean Air conversation' - giving the general public, businesses and stakeholders the chance to give their views on the proposals - ended on 30 June 2019. We are now using the feedback we received during the conversation to develop the detailed proposals.

A statutory public consultation will follow, giving another opportunity for comment and feedback before proposals are resubmitted to local authorities for their further consideration and approval.

A Full Business Case would then be developed and submitted to government. Subject to government approval and funding, measures would be introduced from 2020, with the Clean Air Zone being introduced in two phases from 2021 and 2023.

You can subscribe for news and updates, including a link to the consultation webpage once it's live.

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)
View: British Sign Language (BSL) video summary of our proposals to improve air quality for Greater Manchester.

Keep up-to-date

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