Plans have been shared by leaders throughout Greater Manchester about how air pollution will be tackled to clean up the region’s transport network.
It reiterates the commitment to make the city region one of Europe’s cleanest and greenest, and the business case puts forward a package that will see the buses, HGVs, private hire and van fleets in the region cleaned up, resulting in significantly reduced levels of pollution.
Action is required given the fact that air pollution across the city region is a contributing factor to approximately 1,200 deaths each year in Greater Manchester.
The city of Manchester has recently used billboards to highlight the dangers of air pollution, with the stark fact that standing next to one of the city’s roads all day would result in the equivalent of passive smoking about 13 cigarettes a day.
Therefore, these plans are imperative, and include the provision for a Clean Air Zone that covers all 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester.
In what would be the largest Clean Air Zone of its type outside of London, those non-compliant HGVs, buses, vans, coaches etc would be liable to pay a penalty charge each day to drive in Greater Manchester.
Leaders across Greater Manchester have acted after a report from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) revealed that more areas in the region had higher levels of pollution than were previously thought.
All 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester who have outlined plans will now consider the outline business case for the proposals, which can then be submitted to the government by the end of March.
This is necessary because plans are dependent on financial support from the government in order to support those businesses who want to switch to cleaner vehicles, therefore sustaining economic growth.
Approximately £116 million of investment will be needed to help the freight and logistics sector, bus operators and HGVs who want to move to low emission vehicles over the next four years, while additional measures will see the expansion of the electric vehicle charging network.