GREATER Manchester Combined Authority has released details of the proposed Clean Air Zone (CAZ) pause.

Plans to ask the government to delay the second phase of the rollout were officially confirmed yesterday after evidence indicated global supply chain issues could increase the costs and reduce the availability of cleaner vehicles.

In a statement the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said ministers will be asked to complete ‘an urgent and fundamental review of the policy for the second phase of the Clean Air Zone’ and to ‘put on hold’ the next phase of funding until the review is completed.

The mayor also asked the government to consider excluding motorhomes and horse boxes.

In a statement, Mr Burnham said: “Everyone in Greater Manchester deserves to breathe clean air but we have always said this cannot be at the expense of those who cannot afford to upgrade their vehicles to make them compliant in this timeframe.

“Clean air can only be achieved by the right package of financial support to help people upgrade their vehicles, and this latest evidence highlights significant challenges in this area. We are worried about what this could mean for those businesses and individuals impacted, and their ability to upgrade as well as our ability to deliver the clean air plan.”

Greater Manchester secured £120m in government funding towards upgrading non-compliant commercial vehicles but the Government did not agree to provide additional hardship funding.

Councillor Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council and the city-region’s Clean Air lead, added: “We can only clean our air if people can upgrade their vehicles. This emerging new evidence highlights that the supply chain for cleaner vehicles could stop people from upgrading, especially vans which has been particularly hard-hit. As a result, the costs of second and third-hand compliant vehicles have gone up, in some cases by as much as 60 percent.

“We recognise that this is a problem for two reasons. The point of a Clean Air Zone is not to charge people for driving polluting vehicles, but to encourage them to upgrade to cleaner ones.”

The first phase of the Clean Air Zone due to launch in May, applying to buses, coaches, HGVs and taxi and Private Hire vehicles which are not registered in Greater Manchester, will still go ahead.

Coach operators who need more time to upgrade are being urged to apply for an exemption to June 1, 2023.