Greater Manchester's Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is part of the area's Clean Air Plan, an initiative aimed at reducing NO2 levels on local roads to within legal limits.
NO2, or nitrogen dioxide, is known to contribute to a range of health issues, and to aggravate existing respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Vehicles that do not meet emissions standards will be required to pay a daily charge to drive in the CAZ. These include vans, buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses and heavy goods.
Conversely, vehicles that do meet emissions standards will not pay the charge. The idea is to encourage companies to switch to cleaner vehicles - i.e. ones that do not emit dangerous levels of NO2.
No. Cars, motorbikes and mopeds owned privately are not subject to the Greater Manchester CAZ charge.
Under current proposals, the Clean Air Zone will be introduced on Monday 30 May 2022.
Commercial vehicles that do not meet emission standards will be charged the following:
- Buses and heavy goods vehicles (HGV) – £60 (from 30 May 2022)
- Coaches – £60 (temporary exemption until 32 May 2023)
- Taxis and private hire vehicles – £7.50 (from 30 May 2022, temporary exemption for Greater Manchester-licensed vehicles until 31 May 2023)
- Light goods vehicles (LGV) such as vans and minibuses – £10 (temporary exemption until 31 May 2023)
If you drive a non-compliant vehicle into the CAZ without paying the charge, the registered owner will be handed a £120 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), which will be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days. This is on top of the CAZ charge itself.
The Clean Air Plan has been produced for consideration and approval by the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities. As part of this plan, the Clean Air Zone will include all roads within Greater Manchester, except for those managed by Highways England - with a small number of exceptions.
Unlike the London Congestion Charge, for example, which operates from 7am to 10pm daily, the CAZ zone will be in operation seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to identify whether or not a vehicle needs to pay the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone charge, and if they have paid it. This technology is already used in existing UK clean air and congestion charge zones.
The CAZ charge is paid through the government’s online portal.
Some vehicles will be entitled to discounts and exemptions. Some exemptions are temporary, some are permanent. Others are for private hire vehicles and hackney carriages with licenses from the Greater Manchester local authorities.
There are permanent exemptions for disabled passenger vehicles, military vehicles, historic vehicles, and specialist emergency service vehicles.
Further temporary and permanent exemptions, and permanent discounts, will be made available at a later date. These cannot be applied for at the present time.
The government has made funding available in the form of lump sum grants to help organisations that need to switch to a greener vehicle:
- Clean Commercial Vehicle Fund: £87.9m
- Clean Taxi Fund: £21.4m
- Bus Retrofit Fund: £14.7
- Bus Replacement Fund: £3.2
You can enter details about a vehicle type at the foot of the following page. It will tell you whether or not it is likely to be charged the CAZ levy - https://cleanairgm.com/clean-air-plans/