Labor MPs urge government to meet mayor to make clean air zone ‘fair for all’

Labor MPs across Greater Manchester have again written to the government urging ministers to meet Andy Burnham to address issues over the proposed Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

In an open letter from Stockport MP Navendu Mishra, co-signed by 14 of his Labor colleagues from the region, he called on government officials to meet with the mayor and leaders of the region’s 10 councils to “make changes to make the equitable program”. for everyone’.

the first weeks of 2022 on the Manchester political scene were dominated by complaints about the CAZ, which would see certain commercial vehicles charged daily to enter the zone, which covers Greater Manchester.

READ MORE: Will I have to pay the new Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone tax coming into effect this year?

Many say the charge will only add to the growing cost of living crisis.

Now, after officials voted to ‘suspend’ the next round of funding to help with vehicle upgrades – to ‘fundamentally overhaul’ the CAZ – MPs have written to the government.

Mr Mishra’s letter read: “While we fully support measures to improve air quality, we appreciate that the introduction of CAZ presents a major challenge for many individuals and businesses, especially small ones. businesses and small traders.

“Since the plan was agreed in July 2021, evidence suggests the cost of upgrading a vehicle has increased by 60% due to inflation and supply chain issues. This will likely impact the ability of individuals and businesses to upgrade their vehicles and we wonder if the level of funding agreed is now sufficient.

“As you are aware, under the terms of the legal directive imposed on the 10 local authorities in Greater Manchester by the government, none of the local authorities can change, revoke or suspend their CAZ without the prior written permission of the Secretary of State.

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“However, we have all been contacted by numerous constituents who have documented their financial anxiety over the implications of CAZ and requested that elements of the program be reconsidered.

“We therefore urge you to urgently engage in discussions with Mayor Andy Burnham and the leaders of the 10 local authorities to make changes to make the program fair for all.”

Previously, the mayor said he was open to “any solution” that reduce emissions without affecting jobs.

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