Manchester CAZ paused until July 2022

Manchester CAZ paused until July 2022

09 Feb 2022 Posted By Kate Gibbs

The Government has said this will allow more time for consultation on concerns about its impact on businesses. It was due to begin charging larger commercial vehicles on 30 May, including HGVs.

In a statement, the Government said: “According to evidence provided by Greater Manchester, these impacts will make it harder for people to upgrade to cleaner vehicles, meaning the Clean Air Zone is unlikely to deliver compliance with legal limits by the original date of 2024.

“The government has carefully considered the Mayor’s proposal and following meetings last week and further discussions today, the Environment Secretary has agreed to allow a short delay to the implementation of the Clean Air Zone.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the delay will allow for evidence building and a “revised plan” by July – setting out how it can deliver legal levels of NO2 by no later than 2026.

RHA lobbying

Speaking about the delay on BBC North West, Policy lead on Environment at the RHA, Chris Ashley, said we will need much longer to allow the supply of lorries to recover from the pandemic.

He said: “There are other ways of achieving clean air we all want. We believe the standard is wrong, and an alternative way forward is to change the standard to Euro V.”

The RHA has been campaigning on the issue and called for a pause in the CAZ. We had lobbied the Mayor, all the MPs who sit within Greater Manchester, the leaders of the Greater Manchester councils, and George Eustice to ask HGVs and coaches are not subject to charges from May 2022. We also asked to be included in any review undertaken by the Mayor and central Government.

In our correspondence, we made clear that we support effective, proportionate and fair clean air measures that make upgrading to cleaner vehicles easier. We have also put forward alternative solutions ranging from targeted action on localised pollution “hot spots”, delaying the CAZ until the vehicle supply market has recovered, through to linking compliance to the Euro V standard.

12-month delay

On 3 February, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said in the statement: “I’ve repeatedly raised concerns over a number of years about the level of funding being offered by the Government to help people upgrade vehicles. These concerns intensified last year when the effects of the pandemic became clear.

“Given that the disruption caused by the pandemic will last for more than one year, it is reasonable to request a corresponding delay to the period to achieve compliance.

“Such a delay would provide the opportunity to make significant changes to the CAZ to allow supply chain issues and market conditions to stabilise whilst finding more effective ways to achieve compliance.”

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