Taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV)

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone

The final Clean Air Plan has been approved by all ten Greater Manchester councils. This followed a review of all the information gathered through the 2020 public consultation, and wider data, evidence and modelling work.

Greater Manchester has been directed by government to introduce a ‘Category C’ Clean Air Zone on local roads to reduce harmful nitrogen dioxide air pollution. This means that certain commercial and passenger vehicles which do not meet emission standards - including taxis and private hire vehicles - would need to pay a daily charge to drive in the Greater Manchester-wide Zone.

The Zone is expected to be introduced on 30 May 2022. A temporary exemption is proposed for Greater Manchester-licensed taxis and PHVs until 31 May 2023.

Next steps

Greater Manchester has secured a multi-million-pound funding package to support local businesses and organisations to upgrade to compliant vehicles before the Clean Air Zone is introduced.

It is expected that, from November 2021, funding will be available for Greater Manchester businesses, people and organisations with non-compliant vehicles to support them to upgrade or retrofit their vehicles.

The Clean Air Zone is anticipated to launch on 30 May 2022. Taxis and private hire vehicles licensed in Greater Manchester will receive a temporary exemption to 31 May 2023. Read on for more and please check back for updates or sign up to the CleanAirGM newsletter.

The following vehicles will pay a daily charge of £7.50 to travel in the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone from 30 May 2022:

  • Hackney carriages and PHVs which are not licensed with a Greater Manchester local authority with a Euro 5 or earlier diesel engine (typically registered before 2016).
  • All hackney carriages and PHVs which are not licensed with a Greater Manchester local authority with a Euro 3 or earlier petrol engine (typically registered before 2005).

Hackney carriages and PHVs which are licensed with a Greater Manchester local authority will receive a temporary exemption to 31 May 2023.

The following vehicles would pay a proposed daily charge of £7.50 to travel in the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone from 1 June 2023:

  • All hackney carriages and PHVs with a Euro 5 or earlier diesel engine (typically registered before 2016)
  • All hackney carriages and PHVs with a Euro 3 or earlier petrol engine (typically registered before 2005)

Unpaid charges would result in liability to pay a Penalty Charge Notice of £120 in addition to the unpaid daily charge (reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Use our vehicle checker to see if a vehicle is likely to be charged.

Daily charges will apply for each day a non-compliant vehicle is used within the GM Clean Air Zone. One charge would be imposed per vehicle, per ‘charging day’ (midnight to midnight), however much a vehicle drives within the Zone in that 24-hour period.

Owners or registered keepers of non-compliant vehicles used within the Zone will be required to pay the relevant charge via a central government payment portal.

The government intends that a user can pay seven days in advance, including the journey date, or seven days retrospectively including the journey date.

Applications for financial support to move to cleaner vehicles will open from November 2021. Support will be available to eligible businesses, people and organisations in Greater Manchester to either replace or retrofit non-compliant vehicles. Moving to a compliant vehicle before the Clean Air Zone is introduced means you will not have to pay a daily charge.

Please check back for updates or sign up to the CleanAirGM newsletter.

The government asked Greater Manchester to progress the Clean Air Plan based on proposals developed before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has led to reduced air pollution in the short term. Analysis has shown that this will not be enough to meet legal limits for harmful nitrogen dioxide emissions in the longer term without a Clean Air Zone.

Work has taken place to understand the economic and financial impact of COVID-19 on people and businesses affected by the plans. The final Clean Air Plan proposals take into account evidence from the COVID-19 impacts analysis.

Clean Taxi Fund

Greater Manchester has a vision for a fully integrated, sustainable and green transport network. We want to make sure taxis and private hire vehicles (PHV) play their part in reducing harmful air pollution and carbon emissions.

We have secured £21.4m from government for a Clean Taxi Fund to support hackney carriages and PHVs (licensed with the ten Greater Manchester local authorities) to be upgraded to meet Clean Air Zone emissions standards.

This would provide funding towards the retrofit or replacement of non-compliant vehicles. Or towards running costs when the compliant vehicle acquired with Clean Air Plan funds has also been eligible for a Government plug-in grant.

It is expected that, from November 2021, local businesses and organisations with non-compliant vehicles will be able to apply for funding to support them to upgrade or retrofit their vehicles. Please check back for updates or sign up to the CleanAirGM newsletter.

GM-licensed hackney carriages - proposed financial support

Subject to meeting eligibility criteria, under the proposals those who own a hackney carriage licensed by a Greater Manchester local authority would be able to apply for one of a number of grants.

The options available for non-compliant vehicle owners have increased and in some cases the amounts have increased. This is in light of the feedback from the consultation and consideration of the COVID-19 impacts analysis.

Replacement grants

  • Up to £10,000 towards replacement with a zero-emission-capable (ZEC) wheelchair-accessible vehicle

OR

  • Up to £5,000 towards replacement with a compliant wheelchair-accessible vehicle

OR

  • Up to £6,000 towards replacement with a ZEC non-wheelchair-accessible vehicle

OR

  • Up to £3,000 towards replacement with a compliant non-wheelchair-accessible vehicle

Retrofit grant

  • Up to £5,000 to retrofit existing vehicle so it is compliant via a Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) certified system.

As an alternative to grants, eligible owners could access vehicle finance, offering a 0% or low-cost loan up to £10,000.

It is proposed that there is a limit of five vehicles per applicant for grant funding and finance, with funding and finance initially open to single owner/drivers only.

GM-licensed private hire vehicles - proposed financial support

Subject to meeting eligibility criteria, under the proposals those who own a PHV licensed by a Greater Manchester local authority would be able to apply for one of a number of grants. The options available for non-compliant vehicle owners have increased and in some cases the amounts have increased. This is in light of the feedback from the consultation and consideration of the COVID-19 impacts analysis.

Replacement grants

  • Up to £10,000 towards replacement with a zero-emission-capable (ZEC) wheelchair-accessible vehicle

OR

  • Up to £5,000 towards replacement with a compliant wheelchair-accessible vehicle

OR

  • Up to £6,000 towards replacement with a ZEC non-wheelchair-accessible vehicle

OR

  • Up to £3,000 towards replacement with a compliant non-wheelchair-accessible vehicle

OR

  • Up to £5,000 towards replacement with a compliant minibus

Retrofit grant

  • Up to £5,000 to retrofit their existing vehicle so it is compliant via a Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) certified system.

In addition to grants, eligible owners would also have access to vehicle finance, offering a 0% or low-cost loan up to £6,000.

It is proposed that there is a limit of five vehicles per applicant for grant funding and finance, with funding and finance initially open to single owner/drivers only.

Going electric

Greater Manchester is also aiming for an entirely zero-emission capable (ZEC) taxi and private hire fleet across the city-region by 2029.

In addition to the proposed Clean Taxi Fund, government also has funding of up £7,500 available for those looking to purchase a new ZEC hackney carriage and £2,500 for those looking to purchase a new ZEC private hire vehicle. For more information, visit gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants.

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Greater Manchester is also introducing electric charging points on the Be.EV public charging network for use only by hackney carriage and private hire drivers. We’ve secured £2.4m from the government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and other sources to install 30 of these rapid chargers across Greater Manchester.

These charging points are the start of our investment in EV in Greater Manchester to support the taxi and private hire trade – we’ve also secured £3m in for funding for up to 30 further dedicated hackney carriage and private hire chargers. We also propose to reallocate £0.5m in funding for a ‘Try before you buy’ ZEC hackney carriage scheme to install up to eight additional dedicated charging points (see below).

We are working with OZEV to secure funding to install around 300 more public charging points across Greater Manchester. Some of these would also be for electric hackney and private hire vehicles only.

‘Try Before you Buy’ hackney carriage scheme

To encourage GM-licensed hackney carriage drivers to make the move to electric vehicles, we submitted a ‘Try Before You Buy’ scheme to government for funding. Greater Manchester asked for £1.69m in funding so that each local authority in Greater Manchester would have one or more ZEC hackney carriages available for drivers licensed with that authority to borrow for a few weeks, to allow them to see whether a ZEC cab could work for them.

Government has offered only £0.5m, which isn’t sufficient for the scheme, and so it is proposed that the funding is reallocated to instead install up to eight additional electric vehicle charging points dedicated for hackney carriage and PHV drivers (see above).

Check your vehicle

The vehicle categories and minimum emission standards for the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone are set out in the government’s Clean Air Zone framework.

If you are unsure of your vehicle type please use the government’s vehicle enquiry service, which advises the category as ‘vehicle type approval’. Please contact us at info@cleanairgm.com if your vehicle type isn’t listed.

Has your vehicle been retrofitted to meet the Euro retro 6 standard?

* The results of this vehicle checker are only a guide. The Clean Air Zone is anticipated to launch on 30 May 2022, subject to joint agreement with government on scheme readiness, including the Central Charging Portal and national vehicle checker.

Your answer...

Fill in the questions to see what class of vehicle you own and whether you would have to pay a daily charge to travel in the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.

* The results of this vehicle checker are only a guide. The Clean Air Zone is anticipated to launch on 30 May 2022, subject to joint agreement with government on scheme readiness, including the Central Charging Portal and national vehicle checker.

Greater Manchester has also developed a proposed set of common, minimum standards for services licensed by the ten local authorities. We want to see taxi and private hire services in Greater Manchester deliver a safer, high-quality experience for everyone, every time, using vehicles that meet high environmental standards.

While the minimum licensing standards will complement the Clean Air Plan, the vehicle standards will not be in place before the Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone launches in 2022. The ten GM local authorities are preparing transition arrangements through their local implementation plans from late 2021.

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