Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Financial Support Scheme is now open for applications from locally-registered heavy goods vehicle (HGV) owners who could be affected by the introduction of the city-region’s Clean Air Zone.
The Clean Air Zone will come into effect for these vehicles on 30 May 2022. Greater Manchester has been awarded £120m of government funding to help eligible businesses, organisations and people to move to cleaner, compliant vehicles, including £7.6m for HGV owners. Owners of private cars, motorbikes and mopeds won’t need to pay a daily charge to drive in the Zone.
Funding will initially be targeted to support micro-businesses, self-employed people, sole traders, charities, social enterprises, and private owners and registered keepers of a non-compliant vehicle. Subject to available funding, there will be a second round open to all eligible owners of a non-compliant vehicle, including small businesses.
Letters are being sent to Greater Manchester-registered HGV owners that would be subject to Clean Air Zone daily charges to notify them directly about exemptions and the funding support that will be on offer.
If HGVs owners can demonstrate that they have placed an order for a compliant replacement vehicle or retrofit option, but have not received it yet, they may be eligible for a temporary exemption to Clean Air Zone daily charges.
HGV owners will be able to apply for this exemption from late January 2022. Further details of this temporary exemption are available on the Clean Air Greater Manchester website at cleanairgm.com/discounts-and-exemptions. HGV owners can sign up at the website to be notified about when to apply.
An online checker is also available at cleanairgm.com/prepare to give Greater Manchester residents and businesses further information to help them prepare ahead of the launch of the Clean Air Zone.
The GC Business Growth Hub, part of the Growth Company, have also launched a service to help businesses, sole traders and self-employed people understand their options for complying with the new Zone.
The Hub’s dedicated enquiry team is on hand to provide advice on vehicle compliance and guidance on how people can adapt their business service to minimise the financial impact. People can find out more on the Hub’s dedicated web page.
Greater Manchester Lead for Clean Air, Councillor Andrew Western, said: “We’ve been directed by national government to introduce a Clean Air Zone to bring harmful nitrogen dioxide air pollution levels within legal limits on local roads in the shortest possible time, and by 2024 at the latest.
“Financial support is being offered to as many affected vehicle owners as possible to help them move to cleaner vehicles so they don’t have to pay a daily charge. I’d encourage HGV owners to use the online checker to see if they are affected and find out more about their options as soon as possible.
“We also want to be clear – this scheme is not designed to make a profit and Greater Manchester is seeking to put any money raised back into the Financial Support Scheme to help others to upgrade, as soon as possible.”
In January, the funds will open along with any further information for Lights Good Vehicle (LGV) owners - and other vehicle owners - whose vehicles will be impacted in June 2023.