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Manchester Clean Air Zone (CAZ) Explained: What You Need to Know

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Air pollution is a major problem in the UK, with cities like Manchester struggling with high levels of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. In response, the government has mandated the creation of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) in designated areas across the country, including Manchester. The Manchester CAZ has been in development for several years, but in light of recent events, there is still some confusion about how it will work and what it will mean for residents, businesses, and visitors to the area.

In this blog post, we'll explore the Manchester CAZ and provide an explanation of what it is and what it means for the city.

Check out how much the CAZ will cost to drive in.

What is Manchester CAZ?

The Manchester CAZ is a proposed initiative to help clean up the air quality in the city by charging non-compliant vehicles to enter designated parts of the city centre. The zone aims to reduce the level of nitrogen dioxide, which the city's air pollution primarily composes, making it a health risk for the people of Manchester. The plan was initially set to launch in 2021, but the pandemic delayed it until 2022. However, following the pandemic, the government agreed that this charging Clean Air Zone would NOT be introduced on 30 May 2022.

What will the Manchester CAZ rules be?

The plan was for Manchester CAZ to cover all 10 local authority areas within Greater Manchester. The zone would operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, exemptions will apply to specific vehicles, including emergency services, motorcycles, and buses. Private cars will not be charged a fee. However, some vehicle categories will need to comply with the emission standards or pay a daily fee. For instance, HGVs, buses, and taxis will have to meet the Euro 6 emission standards or face a £60 per day fine. Vans will have to meet the Euro 3 emission standards or pay a £10 daily fee. While coaches, heavy goods vehicles, and specialist vehicles will attract a £100 daily fee for failing to meet Euro 6 emission standards, but these standards only apply to larger vehicles like those weighing over 3.5 tonnes.

When will Manchester CAZ come into force?

An update on Greater Manchester's Clean Air Zone (CAZ) proposals is due to be given next week, where we will find out if the plan is going ahead.

The plan for the Manchester CAZ has generated mixed reactions; some welcomed it, while others raised concerns about the financial implications that the zone would have on individuals and businesses with non-compliant vehicles.

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Beth Parry

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