Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan

Latest news - January 2022 

Greater Manchester clean air leaders formally confirm call on government to review impact of vehicle supply chain issues on GM Clean Air Plan as they reaffirm commitment to cleaning up city-region’s air. Read the latest press release.

Air pollution is linked to a range of very serious health conditions and contributes to early deaths. Greater Manchester (GM) is taking action to improve air quality on local roads now and for future generations.

All ten local authorities have worked together to develop the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan. This will help bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits by 2024. The final Clean Air Plan has now been approved by the Councils, following a public consultation and further development work. Further information about the background to the Clean Air Plans and the consultation is available here (external link).

It includes a Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which is anticipated to launch on 30 May 2022. More than £120m in government funding will also be available to support eligible Greater Manchester businesses, people and organisations to move to cleaner vehicles before the Zone is introduced. 

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone

The Clean Air Zone will improve air quality by encouraging some vehicle owners to upgrade to cleaner vehicles or pay a daily charge. It’s not the same as a Congestion Charge Zone, where all or most vehicles are charged to drive.

View a map of the Clean Air Zone (external link).

The Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone is expected to launch on Monday 30 May 2022. It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round and include most local roads in Greater Manchester. Most roads managed by Highways England, such as motorways and trunk roads will not be included, with a few exceptions.

The categories of vehicles included in the Clean Air Zone and minimum emission standards are set by government in its Clean Air Zone Framework. Private cars, motorbikes and mopeds are not included in the Zone. The following vehicles would pay a daily charge if they don’t meet emission standards:

  • Light goods vehicles
  • Heavy goods vehicles
  • Buses
  • Coaches
  • Hackney cabs
  • Private hire vehicles
  • Minibuses.

There will also be some temporary and permanent exemptions, and discounts (external link).

Is my vehicle affected by the CAZ?

  • Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) includes vans, minibuses, motorised horseboxes and motorhomes/campervans (3.5t and under)
  • Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) includes lorries with two axles, rigid/articulate lorries with more than two axles, motorised horseboxes and motorhomes/campervans (over 3.5t)
  • Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) includes London-style ‘black cabs’ and other vehicles licensed as hackney carriages or private hire vehicles
  • Bus and Coach includes vehicles designed to carry passengers, with more than 16 passenger seats.

Daily charges for non-compliant vehicles

Owners of non-compliant vehicles will pay a daily charge through the government’s online charging service. The following daily charges will apply:

  • Buses and heavy goods vehicles (HGV)
    • £60, from 30 May 2022
  • Coaches
    • £60, temporary exemption until 1 June 2023
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles
    • £7.50, from 30 May 2022, temporary exemption for Greater Manchester licensed vehicles until 1 June 2023
  • Light goods vehicles (LGV) such as vans and minibuses
    • £10, temporary exemption until 1 June 2023.

The Zone will be enforced by a network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, privacy notices are available here (external link). If the daily charge for a non compliant vehicle isn’t paid, there will be a liability to pay a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £120 in addition to the unpaid daily charge. This would be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Applying for Clean Vehicle Funding

Applications for financial support to move to cleaner vehicles will open from November 2021. Support will be available to eligible businesses, people and organisations in Greater Manchester to either replace or retrofit non-compliant vehicles. Moving to a compliant vehicle before the Clean Air Zone is introduced means you will not have to pay a daily charge.

Vehicle types include:

  • Light goods vehicles (LGV)
  • Heavy goods vehicles (HGV)
  • Buses
  • Coaches
  • Hackney carriages
  • Private hire vehicles (PHV)
  • Minibuses.

Support will be available as a lump sum grant, contribution towards vehicle financing or a combination of the two. Check if you are eligible for finance (external link).

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

We understand that residents may have questions about the Clean Air Zone and therefore we have compiled a list of FAQs to help.


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