Greater Manchester’s controversial Clean Air Zone charge should be limited to just the City Centre, the Government has announced

In a letter to Andy Burnham the Environmental Secretary George Eustice has told the Mayor to reduce the zone by 95% or more adding that High-polluting vehicles should only be charged in the most polluted area in Manchester city centre.

“A highly-targeted Category C charging scheme, over a small area where NO2 impacts are most concentrated, in practice Manchester city centre, could represent a path between two extremes, achieving most of the public health benefits of the original scheme while greatly reducing the potential impacts on local businesses.” said the Secretary of State

The Mayor has reacted to the letter on twitter saying that “Finally the Government has been forced to tell the truth – they are the ones insisting on a charging Clean Air Zone including vans and taxis.”

“We will oppose this and continue to argue for a non-charging CAZ for GM, based on incentives not charges.”

The scheme in Greater Manchester had been due to start on 30 May, but it was postponed with the government saying it would allow for consultation and a revised plan in July

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