March 29, 2022 0 Comments

What is the Clean Air Zone and why is it being brought in?

From May 31st 2022, Manchester’s Clean Air Zone will be in full force with the aim of reducing carbon emissions across the roads in and around Greater Manchester. For far too long, we have taken advantage of getting from A to B via vehicle, whether that has been driving in and out of work, delivering consignments or food. Either way, it has the same outcome – carbon emissions damaging the environment.

This issue has been a problem for a number of years and it became visibly clearer for the country to see during the COVID pandemic. When everyone went into a lockdown it meant the majority of vehicles were not allowed on the roads. Whilst this was strange at first, the impact it had by the end of the first lockdown was huge, with the UK producing nowhere near as many carbon emissions as it did pre-pandemic. The skies were blue and no clouds were in sight – from the space station, the UK looked like a tropical island!

Unfortunately, since the first lockdown we have had a further two and more vehicles have been granted access on the roads. This has led to carbon emissions rising to their original high levels which are continuing to harm local and wider environments. So, the government has finally decided to take action on this issue and has been in regular contact with local officials in various regions of the country to devise a plan to stop this ongoing problem.

The clean air zone which is being introduced in two phases has a goal of encouraging and pushing drivers to purchase vehicles that meet the emission rate. The government understand this will be a long process for people to start switching vehicles, which is why they have created two phases of the project.

Manchester Town Hall

Who’s idea was the Clean Air Zone?

In 2020 the government instructed all ten Greater Manchester councils to introduce a clean air zone to tackle harmful levels of air pollution and achieve compliance with legal standards by 2024. They understand this is a short time to get things done, but they have been granted a certain amount of money to help move the project forward. 

However, the amount of money that’s been lost because of the pandemic has led to serious doubts about completing this project by the 2024 deadline. To encourage drivers of every kind to follow these regulations they will be charged a certain fee to enter all areas of Greater Manchester, and if they do not pay the fee, a fine will head their way.

Non-compliant vehicles such as LGV’s, taxis, buses, coaches are eligible to apply for temporary or permanent exemption from the clean air zone daily charges. However, this is not a guarantee and if you are successful with your application then we urge you to look for a new vehicle which will meet the new emission rate. In the long run, this will one, ensure you don’t pay a daily fee and two, it will greatly benefit the environment.


What impact will the Clean Air Zone have on industries and the environment?

In theory, the Clean Air Zone will greatly impact many industries, especially transportation. The transportation industry is heavily involved with many day to day activities, and it holds an important role in the supply chain. Without companies who sell vehicles that then deliver products and goods, there would be worrying results short and long term. 

Luckily, it shouldn’t get to that position and something drastic would have to cause this. However, for refrigerated van companies such as ourselves, it’s going to be an expensive year or so to purchase new vehicles which meet the new emission standard. Granted, the government will provide a certain amount of funds to help with the restructure, but it won’t help the loss of money short term.

However, long term money will be made and business aside, the environment will slowly improve too. For many years, we have taken advantage of the environment and for too long we have ignored the signs it has given us to stop polluting at this current rate. It’s about time the government has recognised this ongoing problem and is beginning to combat the issue. The Clean Air zone will undoubtedly improve the conditions of the environment as it will stop air pollution surging from village to town to the city.

The wildlife within the local and wider environment will reap benefits too, as they won’t be breathing or eating any harmful substances which are caused by our doing.

How to keep up to date with the Clean Air Zone

Now this project is becoming more visible and impactful to the public, more and more people are interested to find out more information on the topic. We encourage everybody to learn as much about the Clean Air Zone as they can. To discover all the information you need to know, click here for all the latest.