Greater Manchester has launched two major public consultations to get a wide range of views on the city-region’s plans to reduce harmful air pollution on local roads and to introduce minimum standards for all taxis and private hire services licensed in the region.
People and businesses across the region and beyond are being invited to help shape the final plans by taking part in the consultations, which run from Thursday 8 October to 23:59 on Thursday 3 December 2020.
People can find out more and give their views at cleanairgm.com and gmtaxistandards.com, or request further support, including copies of consultation documentations, on 0161 244 1100. Both websites will host a virtual engagement space open 24/7 for the next eight weeks given government guidance around social distancing.
cleanairgm.com will also host webinars for businesses and taxi operators, as well as live chat drop-in sessions so people can find out more and ask questions about the proposals.
Government has directed Greater Manchester to introduce a Category C Clean Air Zone (CAZ) across the region, to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits in the shortest time possible.
The clean air consultation will ask for views on key elements of the Zone including its proposed boundary, daily charges, discounts and exemptions, and the funding package to support local businesses to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.
The consultation on proposed Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards (MLS) for taxis and private hire vehicles is running in parallel to ensure as much certainty and clarity as possible for the trade on any proposed changes required to their vehicles.
Greater Manchester is proposing the most generous offer of support for taxis of any clean air zone outside of London – providing total funding of up to £17,500 to help taxi owners upgrade their vehicles. Funding provision is also being made for private hire vehicles licensed by Greater Manchester local authorities to support the upgrade to cleaner vehicles.
A temporary exemption for wheelchair-accessible taxi and PHVs is also being proposed as well as a ‘Try Before You Buy’ scheme for hackney drivers to test drive electric taxis. Work with the trade is also taking place on the development of a network of taxi and PHV-only electric vehicle charge points.