Taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV)

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 some commercial and passenger vehicles would need to pay a daily charge to drive in the Greater Manchester-wide Zone, which is expected to be introduced from spring 2022.

That includes vans, buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses and heavy goods vehicles that do not meet emission standards. You could be affected if you own or drive a taxi or a private hire vehicle (PHV) in Greater Manchester.

Next steps

We’re working with government to secure a multi-million-pound funding package to support local businesses and organisations to upgrade to compliant vehicles before the Clean Air Zone is introduced.

A public consultation on these proposals took place between 8 October and 3 December 2020. Further work is also taking place to understand the economic impact of COVID-19 on people and businesses affected by the plans, as this may alter the level of support funding needed from government.

This will help shape the final Clean Air Plan, which will be put to decision makers in the ten Greater Manchester local authorities as soon as possible and no later than summer 2021. Please read on for more information and check back for updates.

The following vehicles would pay a proposed daily charge of £7.50 to travel in the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone from Spring 2022:

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

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

It is proposed that daily charges would 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.

We recognise that some owners of PHVs also use their vehicle for private, domestic use. As private cars are not included in the Clean Air Zone, we are proposing a discounted weekly charge (5/7th of the weekly total). Owner drivers of GM-licensed PHVs (and GM-licensed PHVs leased full-time by one person), would be eligible to apply for this discount.

It is proposed that wheelchair accessible hackney carriages and PHVs which are licensed to one of the ten Greater Manchester local authorities will be eligible for a temporary exemption until 31 December 2022.

The Government has 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 is under way to assess and understand all the information gathered through the 2020 consultation. Further work is also taking place to understand the economic impact of COVID-19 on people and businesses affected by the plans, as this may alter the level of support funding needed from government.

This will help shape the final Clean Air Plan, which will be put to decision makers in the ten Greater Manchester local authorities as soon as possible and no later than summer 2021.

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.

It is proposed that the Clean Taxi Fund will offer support towards upgrading non-compliant hackney carriages and private hire vehicles (PHVs) licensed with the ten Greater Manchester authorities to meet the proposed Clean Air Zone emissions standards.

More information will be provided when available.

GM-licensed hackney carriages - proposed financial support

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.

It is proposed that the Clean Taxi Fund will offer support towards upgrading non-compliant hackney carriages and private hire vehicles (PHVs) licensed with the ten Greater Manchester authorities to meet the proposed Clean Air Zone emissions standards.

More information will be provided when available.

GM-licensed private hire vehicles - proposed financial support

In March 2020, Government awarded an initial £10.2 million towards replacing non-compliant vehicles with compliant alternatives to meet the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone emission standards. The following grants will be available to apply for:

Private hire wheelchair accessible vehicle or minibus

  • A grant of £5,000 towards the cost of a compliant 6+ seater vehicle.

OR

  • Access to vehicle finance, offering a zero percent or low-cost loan for up to 90% of the value of the vehicle.

Non-wheelchair accessible private hire vehicle:

  • A grant of £1,000 towards the cost of a compliant internal combustion engine vehicle OR access to vehicle finance, offering a zero percent or low-cost loan for up to 90% of the value of the vehicle.

OR

  • A grant of £2,000 towards the cost of a compliant hybrid or plug-in hybrid OR access to vehicle finance, offering a zero percent or low-cost loan for up to 90% of the value of the vehicle.

OR

  • A grant of £2,500 towards the running costs of a ZEC vehicle.

It is proposed that there is a limit of 10 vehicles per applicant.

Hardship Fund

Greater Manchester is proposing a Hardship Fund of at least £10m. This will support individuals, companies and organisations who are assessed to be most economically vulnerable to the proposed Clean Air Zone daily charges.

We’re currently considering the scope and scale of support required. Feedback through the autumn 2020 consultation about the impact of COVID-19 will help inform the amount of hardship funding that needs to be made available.

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 have funding of up £7,500 available for those looking to purchase a new ZEC hackney carriage and £3,000 for those looking to purchase a new ZEC private hire vehicle. For more information, visit gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants.

‘Try Before you Buy’ hackney carriage scheme

Due to the lack of second hand zero-emission capable hackney carriages on the market, it is likely that anyone looking to buy an electric vehicle would need to purchase a new vehicle. So to encourage GM-licensed hackney carriage drivers to make the move to electric vehicles, we’re proposing a ‘Try Before You Buy’ initiative.

It’s proposed 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 couple of weeks, to allow them to try out whether a ZEC cab could work for them. Greater Manchester is proposing this initiative for GM-licensed hackney carriage drivers to help address identified uncertainties around operating costs, range anxiety, and availability of charging infrastructure, before making an investment.

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Greater Manchester is also introducing electric charging points on the Be.EV public charging network for use only by taxi and private hire drivers. We’ve secured £2.4m from the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) 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’re also bidding for funding for a further 40 dedicated taxi and private hire chargers.

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

Find out more

Check your vehicle

The category C Clean Air Zone vehicle categories and minimum emission standards are set out in the Clean Air Zone framework in Appendix 1 of the consultation document.*

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

*The Clean Air Plan proposals are still being developed, so the results of this vehicle checker are only a guide. In the meantime, please contact us at info@cleanairgm.com if your vehicle type isn’t listed.

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 Clean Air Plan proposals are still being developed, so the results of this vehicle checker are only a guide. In the meantime, please contact us at info@cleanairgm.com if your vehicle type isn’t listed.

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.

Visit gmtaxistandards.com to find out more.

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