Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) drivers gathered at Salford City Roosters’ ground in Eccles this morning (3rd Feb) to begin a protest against Greater Manchester’s clean air zone legislation.

Travel warnings were issued throughout the day in anticipation of delays.

The beeping protestors’ route went through Trafford, MediaCityUK, and then on to Manchester city centre.

The legislation will cost taxi and PHV drivers £7.50 a day, which is likely to impact taxi users.

The Deputy Chairman of the protest group said: “It will cost a private hire driver an extra £47.50 a week” which is equivalent to £2470 annually.

To which the chairman added: “There is another option that is the drivers work another hour to pay for that. And that’s not just £7.50., you’ve got to put fuel in and pay tax on what you’ve earned.”

The chairman went on to say: “It’s going to cause confrontation” when discussing the implications to passengers caused by this additional charge.

Protestors gather in Eccles. Photo by Francis Barker

The laws, which are due to come in place on May 30th 2022, will also cost HGV drivers £60 a day.

Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, has suggested that the clean air zone charges should not come into affect until 2027. He has also promised that the charges will not be in place for any longer than necessary.

This tax doesn’t apply to everyday road users such as those in a family car or a personal vehicle. This is despite the fact that SUVs contribute more emissions than heavy industry, trucking and aviation sectors.

The event gained traction online, with a Facebook live video by Salford Media clocking up 2,011 views.

According to the World Health Organisation, 1/3 of worldwide deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution.

Air pollution in Greater Manchester currently causes 1,200 deaths per year.

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