Manchester CAZ slammed

A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) proposed for Greater Manchester could see non-compliant buses slapped with a £100 daily charge. First Manchester has issued a statement saying it is disappointed in the additional taxation.

The CAZ plan is part of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA’s) ‘Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan’. The proposed Zone covers all ten Greater Manchester local authorities. It would require owners of high-polluting, non-compliant buses and minibuses (but not cars) to pay a daily penalty to drive in Greater Manchester. The CAZ would be implemented from 2021.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “This is not a congestion charge by the front door or back door. Instead, this is a balanced package of measures to clean up our air without punishing businesses or deprived communities.”

Ian Humphreys, MD of First Manchester, said: “We are disappointed to learn that additional taxation is to be used as the first key step in the plan as it is not helpful and an added burden on those who will ultimately pay and may not be able to afford it – especially those in the more deprived communities we serve.

“Bus passengers should be encouraged and rewarded for their choice of travel mode rather than being penalised as they are making a contribution to improving our environment. Air quality improvement planning requires a number of measures to be introduced in parallel to avoid penalising particular groups in society.”

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