Working towards a greener and cleaner future in Manchester and beyond is a hot topic at the moment. You may remember that we’ve touched on Manchester going green in one of our blogs about Destination: Bee Network, which focuses on eco-friendly transport. Well, on the subject of transport, the authorities in Greater Manchester have now announced that a Clean Air Zone will be introduced from 30th May 2022.
Given that our focus here at MYP is to bring young professionals and businesses together through an inclusive network, we thought we’d take a look into how this Clean Air Zone might impact businesses within our great city. Earlier this month, we introduced our brand new sustainability partner, eStar. This Mercedes-Benz Vans and Trucks retailer focuses greatly on sustainability, electric mobility and the efficiency of the commercial vehicle community. We took to our Instagram story to find out whether or not our followers were aware of Manchester’s new Clean Air Zone. The result? Surprisingly, 77% of people claimed to have no awareness of the new scheme!
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in and explore exactly what to expect from Manchester’s Clean Air Zone!
What Is a Clean Air Zone?
Following the Government’s proposals to transition to zero-emission cars and vans by 2030, the Clean Air Zone will follow the administrative boundary of Greater Manchester from 30th May 2022. The zone won’t include motorways, major trunk roads managed by National Highway, or the Strategic Road Network (SRN) but it will, however, include local roads. Ultimately, the aim of the Clean Air Zone is to protect the health of the population with legal limits of air pollution caused by nitrogen dioxide.
So, which individuals and businesses are affected?
Whilst there are various discounts and exemptions, overall the Clean Air Zone affects individuals and businesses with non-compliant vehicles that don’t meet emissions standards. Owners of these vehicles will then have to pay to drive through the zone. Signage that marks the Clean Air Zone area will be clear, so that drivers can take an alternative route if they wish to avoid the area and the subsequent charges. Mopeds, motorbikes, and private cars won’t be affected by the new Clean Air Zone. Exemptions are in place for some vehicles including specialist emergency service vehicles, historic and military vehicles, and vehicles for disabled passengers.
How will the charges work?
A ‘charging day’ will operate midnight to midnight, and regardless of how often a vehicle drives through the zone within that period, one daily charge will be imposed for each ‘charging day’. The zone will operate all year round, 24/7. Charges will be made via a central government payment portal, and failure to pay will result in a further penalty – users will have to pay seven days before their journey, or by seven days after. Payment of these charges will be enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras.
People with non-compliant vehicles will have to pay the following prices from 30th May 2022:
- Heavy goods vehicles: £60
- Buses and coaches: £60 (if your vehicle isn’t used on a registered bus service, you can apply to be exempt until 1st June 2023)
- Hackney cabs and private hire vehicles: £7.50 (however, most Greater Manchester-licensed vehicles are exempt until 1 June 2023)
The following must then be paid from 1st June 2023:
- As for those that own motorcaravans, the charge and introductory date will depend on the tax class of the vehicle.
Is there any support in place for people and businesses that want to switch to cleaner vehicles?
For those individuals and businesses that want to make the switch to a compliant vehicle before the zone launches, there’s £120bn of government funding in place to assist with these upgrades. This support is designed to help users replace or retrofit their vehicles so that they are compliant with emissions standards. To start with, sole traders, the voluntary sector, private owners, and small businesses will be targeted with the funding.
Users will be able to get support in the form of a lump sum grant, contribution towards vehicle financing, or a combination of both. The funding available will vary case by case depending on the type of vehicle and its size. You can learn more about the support, your eligibility, and the applications on the dedicated website here.
However, for help upgrading your car to a much more suitable, compliant option – Manchester’s road users can visit eStar for information and assistance transitioning to an electric vehicle.
How can our sustainability partner, eStar support drivers and businesses in Manchester?
“Here at eStar, we’ve made it our mission to work in partnership with Manchester-based businesses to help keep the city moving sustainably. We believe it’s a very exciting time to be based in and around Manchester and through the support we can provide at eStar, we’re here to assist companies on their journey to a greener, more sustainable future.
Over recent months we’ve been working with the team at Transport For Greater Manchester, so we’re best placed to provide you with all the information you need to ensure you don’t get caught out. As an Approved Mercedes-Benz Van and Truck supplier, we’re also able to support your transition to a compliant Euro 6 or electric vehicle.
We’re also excited to be partnering with Manchester Young Professionals next Monday 29th November as we take over their Instagram page and host an Instagram Live at 1pm. You’ll be able to ask questions and hear more from us about the impending Clean Air Zone as well as from one of our key partners – EO Charging.”
If you’d like to learn more about how you can contribute to making our planet greener and more sustainable, get yourself to our Instagram page on Monday 29th November to hear everything you need to know from eStar.
If you’d like to find out more about our regular networking events in Manchester, remember to follow us on Instagram and sign up to our newsletter to stay in the know about all things Manchester and our events! If you’ve got any ideas about events, whether they’re related to Manchester’s green evolution or something else, then you can call us on 0161 327 1385, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.