Clean Air Zone Sign

Greater Manchester is no longer proposing a Clean Air Zone

8th Apr, 2024

As you may well know if you’ve been following our blog over the past few years, we’ve been talking about the Manchester Clean Air Zone for quite some time now here at Scrap Car Network.

The entire saga has been dragging on for nigh on a decade, dating back to Supreme Court order in 2015. Since then it’s hit a number of road bumps (pardon the pun), going back and forth through different authorities and committees. The latest is that it’s now finally been scrapped, with the local authority proposing what it’s calling an “investment-led” approach instead.

That’s probably good news if you were worried the new charges might mean you have to scrap your car!

So here’s the latest, and what’s been going on.

A short history of the Manchester Clean Air Zone

As we’ve touched on above, the original plans date all the way back to 2015, when Manchester was among several cities that was instructed by the Supreme Court that it must reduce illegal levels of air pollution. In March 2020, Manchester received specific direction from the central government to address the vehicle pollution problem.

It almost immediately hit obstacles – and given the date, you can probably work out what the first one was. Covid-19’s effect was – as we heard so often at the time – unprecedented, and so with so many other things, it caused extensive delays to the decision-making, in light of the massive upheavals it was causing in so many people’s lives.

The Clean Air Zone was then officially put on hold, and in the meantime there was a lot of pushback from the general public too, with worries about the damage that the charges would do to local businesses – many of whom were still struggling to recover from Covid’s huge economic shocks.

Once things had started to calm down a bit, Manchester’s leadership then had to contend with the stumbling blocks around the bus retrofit data and the Clean Taxi Fund. Manchester needed (and still needs) to significantly upgrade its public transport network in order to meet those stipulations, so that was a major factor.

Now though, the plans for a Clean Air Zone have officially been scrapped completely. That’s not to say that Manchester isn’t interested in cleaning up its air anymore – it’s legally bound to do so – but it’s concluded there are more effective ways to do it.

So what does this mean?

Rather than abandoning all plans to clean up its air, Manchester’s leadership is still proposing a Greater Manchester wide investment-led plan to address the nitrogen dioxide exceedances on roads. According to official documentation, it believes that the investment-led approach would be quicker and more cost-effective than imposing a charging zone on the regional city centre.

Air compliance can be achieved through cleaner bus and taxi measures, alongside what it calls some “localised traffic measures”. To that end, they’re still looking at a Clean Taxi Fund, worth £22.5 million, to deliver on that aim. Then there will be a further £8m fund proposed to support owners of Greater Manchester-licensed hackney carriages.

The city’s leadership is currently in the midst of finalising those plans, which it will then submit to the government. From there, the government will have final say. So that means the pressure is probably off for you to scrap your car, but if you’re wondering what else to do, the answer is watch this space. (Of course, if you’ve been following this story for the best part of the last ten years, you may well find yourself saying “t’was ever thus”!

Clean Air initiatives aside though, there might be all sorts of reasons why you decide to scrap your car – maybe it’s been in an accident, or maybe it’s failed its MOT. Maybe it just doesn’t make economic sense to keep running anymore. Whatever the case, that’s where we can help here at Scrap Car Network. With more than 40 years of experience behind us, we’ve always been focused on getting you the very best prices.

It’s free and easy to get an instant online quote, and there’s no obligation to proceed until you’re ready! Simply enter your registration and postcode into the fields on our site and find out what your car could be worth within seconds. Curious to find out how much yours is worth?

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