Today is the last day Salford residents can provide their views on clean air proposals for the city and the whole of Greater Manchester which include charges to drive through a ‘clear air’ zone.
Today is the last chance to give your views on the Greater Manchester #CleanAirZone proposals.
Make sure you fill out the questionnaire by 11.59pm!
— Manchester City Council #StaySafe❤ (@ManCityCouncil) December 3, 2020
With increasing evidence that air pollution is linked to a wide range of illnesses and diseases, the 10 GM local authorities, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are working together to develop a clear air plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide.
Air pollution contributes to the equivalent of 1,200 annual deaths in Greater Manchester, with the main source of air pollution in Salford and Greater Manchester being road transport.
A study in 2018 found that 152 stretches of road were in breach of legal limits of nitrogen dioxide in 2020 and beyond unless action is taken. This includes several roads in Salford.
The main stretches of road affected in Salford are Trinity Way, the A6 stretch running from Chapel Street to the Pendleton roundabout, and Regent Road, with a few more minor hotspots of pollution. A more detailed map can be found below.
Part of the proposal is also an introduction of a ‘Category C’ charging clear air zone, operating for 24/7 and covering local roads across the whole of Greater Manchester. The zone would see the most polluting vehicles pay a daily charge to travel on local roads within. This can be likened to the congestion charge as seen in Central London.
It must be kept in mind that not all vehicles are affected, various exemptions and discounts have also been announced as part of the proposal, though what these would be exactly have not yet been revealed.
There is also a vehicle checker available online to give a guide as to which vehicles would be likely to pay a daily penalty to enter or travel within the Clean Air Zone.
Another key part of the proposal is a set of common minimum standards for taxis and PHV’s (Private Hire Vehicles). These state that from 2025 all new-to-license vehicles would need to be zero-emission-capable. This is then changed in 2028 when all vehicles would need to be zero-emission-capable, meaning an entirely zero-emission taxi/PHV fleet across GM by 2029.
Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, the government has asked Greater Manchester to go ahead with the clean air proposals, with the initial date for the Clean Air Zone being introduced in Spring 2022.
Consultations conducted prior to the pandemic however concluded that full compliance would probably be achieved in 2024.
As part of their assessment of the affects of COVID-19 on the Clear Air Plan proposals, the consultation is asking questions about the impact of the pandemic on impacted groups. This information will inform their final decision.
It is something that will widely impact Greater Manchester residents and their everyday life. The questionnaire closes on 11:59pm today so if you want to have your say or merely look at the full consultation, follow this link.