Fresh look at reducing air pollution after Greater Manchester's clean air zone halted
Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee will begin the process of reviewing evidence and options for a new clean air plan when it meets on Wednesday, March 23.
The committee will consider the scope of the options available as Greater Manchester works with the Government to deliver a new plan by July 1 to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels within legal limits as soon as possible and by 2026 at the latest.
Reviewing the evidence to inform a new clean air plan for Greater Manchester, including air quality and the vehicle fleet Assembling a proposed package of measures to achieve legal levels of NO2 in the air, including measures specific to particular locations Assessment of preferred measures to improve air quality and their economic and equalities impact
The Government withdrew the original legal direction in February requiring Greater Manchester to implement a charging category C clean air zone, after concerns about financial hardship and the availability of compliant vehicles were raised by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and council leaders.
Charges for driving some higher polluting commercial vehicles had been due to begin from May 30, but that will now not happen.
At the meeting, the committee will discuss how the new plan can be informed by engagement with stakeholder groups and vehicle owners in the coming weeks. Further public consultation will be considered alongside the new plan.
Coun Andrew Western, chairman of the committee, said: “We can now begin the process of reviewing the evidence and options available to Greater Manchester as we work towards a new clean air plan, acknowledging the importance of bringing nitrogen dioxide levels within legal limits without creating financial hardship and risking jobs and businesses.
“We want the people of Greater Manchester to participate in the conversation leading to the development of the new clean air plan and the committee will discuss an approach to ensure that the new plan is informed by targeted engagement with stakeholder groups and vehicle owners.”