Oldham Council’s deputy leader is urging businesses and residents to find out more about how GM’s clean air zone will benefit the borough - especially our young people.
Councillor Abdul Jabbar, said the local authority, and the nine other Greater Manchester councils, are more committed than ever to cleaning up the air we breathe through a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in line with legal limits on local roads in the shortest possible time.
Cllr Jabbar, who is also Cabinet Member for Finance and Low Carbon, said: “Air pollution is linked to a range of very serious health conditions, including asthma, heart and lung disease and contributes to 1,200 deaths per year across the city-region.
“That’s why the council is taking action and working with our neighbours to develop a Clean Air Plan.
“The CAZ’s introduction will aim to bring damaging nitrogen dioxide emissions within legal limits by 2024.
“This is not a congestion charge but a chance for us to support our recovery from the pandemic and to help protect the health of future generations and reduce pollution.”
A GM-wide Clean Air Zone is expected to launch on 30 May, 2022 following a review of all the information gathered through an eight-week long public consultation in 2020.
It will include charges for the most polluting vehicles on our roads.
Private vehicles will not be charged and there will exemptions until 31 May 2023 for taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) licensed in Greater Manchester.
Vans, minibuses, GM-registered coaches and wheelchair-accessible taxis were already exempt from daily charges until 2023.
Over £120m in government funding has also been secured to help businesses upgrade to cleaner, compliant vehicles - applications will open from November this year.
Funding has also been secured for taxi-only electric vehicle charging points at strategic sites across GM.
Oldham Council will consider the GM Clean Air Plan on July 28, after the plan was endorsed by the ten GM local authority leaders at a GMCA meeting on June 25.
Cllr Jabbar added: “Don’t wait until the CAZ is launched to get involved and do your bit.
“Visit the website cleanairgm.com to see how you can make our local streets quieter, safer and greener.
“We can all make small changes – like leaving the car at home when dropping our children off at school or walking to the shop – which can make a big difference.”
The boundary of the CAZ will cover the whole of Greater Manchester, excluding the strategic Road Network (SRN) which is managed by Highways England.
National government has agreed to include sections of the A628/A57 part of the strategic road network managed by Highways England, which pass through the villages of Hollingworth and Mottram, in the Clean Air Zone – helping to protect residents’ health along what have been some of the most polluted stretches of road in GM.