Yesterday, Government gave its initial feedback on the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan. Here is the response from Chris Fletcher, Marketing & Campaigns Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce:
“Poor air quality is harming people’s health across our region every day – and we want Greater Manchester to tackle it in a way that does not damage our economic health too.
“It makes sense for us all to work together to make our region a clean, healthy and attractive place for people to live and do business in.
“It’s disappointing that with just eighteen months to go, the government has still not confirmed how and when our members can access the financial support they need to upgrade their vehicles. There is a stated objective to make the necessary changes as a matter of urgency but this has to be in conjunction with the proposed financial package.
“We need government to commit now to the necessary funding outlined in the Clean Air Plan proposals so that our businesses can make the switch to cleaner vehicles as soon as possible. Delays are not helpful and, in this case, will further damage the environment, people’s health and the economy.
“We are also worried that government has not listened to the concerns raised by business about the availability of compliant light good vehicles by 2021.
“Van operators need to be given more time to upgrade to compliant models, or we could find that local van owners have no choice but to pay to drive in a Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone, which doesn’t do anything to clean up our air and is a huge economic disincentive to business growth. Government seems intent on making what was always a big ask of business an almost impossible challenge that will potentially cause deep damage to many of our members.
“The government must fully support Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Plan proposals or risk seriously affecting the economic success of our region.”
The GM Clean Air Plan will be discussed at the next Chamber Assembly meeting, taking place this Friday. If you'd like to come along to hear more information about the Plan, or to tell us your views, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org