Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan


Greater Manchester is working hard to tackle air pollution, which is damaging our health.

Unless we take action, roads across Greater Manchester will continue to have dangerously high levels of pollutants including harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The government has instructed Greater Manchester and many other areas to develop Clean Air Plans to reduce high levels of NO2 on local roads as soon as possible.

So Greater Manchester is now working together to produce a single approach for the whole city region.

Read on to find out more about our progress.

Clean Air proposals for Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester has considered a wide range of measures that could help reduce roadside NO2 levels.

We have carried out extensive work to help develop a proposed package of measures.

These measures would clean up the air we breathe as quickly and effectively as possible, while also protecting local people, businesses and the economy.

Vehicle renewal schemes, clean vehicle funds and loan finance

We are proposing a number of government-funded schemes to help Greater Manchester HGV, bus and coach, taxi, private hire vehicle operators and businesses upgrade to cleaner vehicles.

  • Clean Freight Fund: £59m for HGVs
  • Clean Bus Fund: £29m for buses and coaches
  • Clean Taxi Fund: £28m for taxis and private hire vehicles
  • Greater Manchester loan scheme: FSA-regulated loans and at preferential rates for those who are taking advantage of the clean vehicle funds

If we receive the full government funding and drivers make the switch to cleaner vehicles, we estimate that the vast majority of vehicles would not need to pay a penalty if a Clean Air Zone was introduced.

We would not introduce a Clean Air Zone unless this funding was made available to help businesses upgrade to cleaner vehicles.

Proposed Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone (CAZ)

The government has said that we need to consider introducing a Clean Air Zone or Zones (CAZ).

These are areas where targeted action is taken to improve air quality, by discouraging the most polluting vehicles from entering the zone.

No vehicle is banned from travelling in a CAZ. But vehicles which do not have clean enough engines would have to pay a daily penalty if they travel in the area.

The funding to help Greater Manchester freight companies, bus and coach operators, taxi and private hire drivers and businesses move to cleaner vehicles would need to be followed by the introduction of a Clean Air Zone to help meet legal targets to clean up our air as quickly as possible.

We are proposing a Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone that would not affect cars.

We would not introduce a Clean Air Zone unless government funding was made available to help businesses introduce cleaner vehicles.

The Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone would be introduced in two phases:

Phase 1: (from 2021) daily penalty for non-compliant HGVs, buses and coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles
Phase 2: (from 2023) expanding to non-compliant vans and minibuses

As well as cars, the following vehicles wouldn’t be liable for a penalty payment as their engines are cleaner.

  • Bus/HGV – Diesel Euro 6 engine (from 2013)
  • Van and minibus – Diesel Euro 6 (from 2016)
  • Motorbike/moped – Petrol Euro 3 (from 2007)
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – Diesel Euro 6 (2015 onwards)
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – Petrol Euro 4 (2005 onwards)

Exemptions or discounts would also apply, details of which will be developed through engagement and consultation with businesses and residents.

There would be a daily penalty payment for non-compliant vehicles entering the proposed Clean Air Zone. The following indicative penalty payments are estimates for the proposals. They will be further considered and informed through engagement and consultation activity.

  • HGVs, buses and coaches – £100 from 2021
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – £7.50 from 2021
  • Vans and minibuses – £7.50 from 2023

Other measures to support cleaner travel choices

  • Electric Vehicle charging network expansion
  • Sustainable Journeys (behaviour change activity)
  • Supported by:
    Local Authority & Greater Manchester Fleet Upgrades, a review of Parking Standards, Bus Capacity Network Planning and ongoing activity arising from existing investment decisions to improve Greater Manchester’s active travel and transport network.

What next?

The 10 local authorities have now considered the Outline Business Case for the proposals and it has been submitted to government.

A public conversation in late spring will give an opportunity for people to give feedback and help shape the detailed proposals.

A statutory consultation will also follow, giving another opportunity for comment and feedback.

Feedback will be taken into consideration before proposals are resubmitted to local authorities for further consideration and approval.

A Full Business Case would then be developed by the end of 2019.

Subject to government funding, measures would be introduced by 2021.

Further background information

Read GMCA reports
Read Outline Business Case
Read Strategic Outline Case

Have your say

Please get in touch now if you want to give us feedback on proposed package of measures, or if you want to speak to someone about changing or upgrading your vehicle.

Find out more about work already under way in Greater Manchester to help reduce air pollution.