Plan for Manchester CAZ to target vans suspended

Monday, January 24, 2022 - 07:02
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Hauliers will come under the scope of Manchester’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) when it launches in May, but plans to target vans and taxis have been put on hold due to “global and national vehicle supply issues”.

Clean Air Zone signs in ManchesterUncertainty about the scheme has been growing since the city’s mayor put out a statement expressing concerns about the impact on businesses earlier this month.

The Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee said it would write to the secretary of state seeking permission to pause the opening of the second phase of the CAZ, which affects lighter vehicles.

The committee said commercial vehicle users were already facing fuel and cost of living increases on top of the impact of the pandemic.

It said a new report into the global supply chain issues revealed issues impacting the availability and cost of CAZ-compliant vehicles, particularly vans.

Andrew Western, Trafford Council leader, said: “It’s not right that poor air quality – mostly brought about by polluting vehicles – contributes to 1,200 deaths every year in Greater Manchester alone.

“We want to see this number drop and I am keen to stress that we remain resolutely committed to cleaning up our air without losing a job, a business or putting anyone into hardship.

“We have considered this latest evidence, which is also reflected in the concerns we’ve heard from those business and individuals impacted and who are worried about their ability to upgrade. We need to have the right package of financial support to meet the targets set by government and are open to any solutions that can help us achieve that.”

Transport for Greater Manchester acknowledged there were also supply chain issues that affected HGVs and so it said a temporary exemption was in place for vehicle owners who can demonstrate they have placed an order for a compliant, upgraded vehicle but are awaiting its delivery.

Further data about supply chain issues relating to HGVs is due to be published by the SMMT next month and the committee said this would be “closely monitored and a further report brought to the next committee meeting about HGV supply chain issues”.

A financial support scheme remains open for HGV applications and owners of non-compliant vehicles.

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