Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan to tackle nitrogen dioxide exceedances at the roadside

What’s happening?

Greater Manchester is considering introducing a Clean Air Zone with supporting measures, to tackle high illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air. Road transport is responsible for 80% of the roadside nitrogen dioxide with the greatest contribution coming from diesel vehicles.

A four page document has been produced (that can be viewed below under downloadable documents) which provides an overview of why it is necessary to consider proposals to improve the air quality in our region. Public Health England estimate that poor air quality contributes to an equivalent on 1,200 deaths a year in Greater Manchester, plays a part in breathing illnesses, heart disease, stroke and even some cancers. Poor air quality particularly affects the vulnerable such as the elderly, sick, poor and children. 

In order to tackle this issue and ensure compliance with legal limits of nitrogen dioxide in the air government has instructed eight out of the ten Greater Manchester authorities to undertake a feasibility study into how it can bring about compliance in the shortest possible time.

The feasibility study has many different steps which need to be undertaken before a decision is made regarding the option that will be implemented and much work has been undertaken to understand if certain proposals will have a positive effect on air quality. Those proposals have been refined into the most effective at tackling nitrogen dioxide and the Greater Manchester authorities have determined their preferred option. This option is now open to discussion and if accepted by government will be subject to a full public consultation in the summer, where comments, suggestions and feedback will be collated and taken into account before a final decision is made on the course of action to be taken and re-submitted to government for their approval.

An important part of the business case to government is the provision of government funded schemes to help pay for the scrappage or upgrade of the most polluting vehicles. If such funding is made available then the current preferred option is the introduction of a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) across the whole of Greater Manchester from 2021, to discourage the most polluting buses, HGVs, taxis, private hire vehicles and LGVs from travelling within the Greater Manchester boundary.

Get further information on the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan or email Clean Air GM

You can view the latest update in the presentation below.

Electric Vehicles (EV)

The government is focused on increasing EV uptake amongst all taxis and PHVs and has invested almost £1.5bn between 2015-2020 in ULEVs with £50m assigned to the Plug-in Taxi Grant (PiTG) and £20m to support charge-point infrastructure for ULEV taxis.

Plug In Grant - cars (previously ‘category 1’)

This can be accessed by anyone purchasing an eligible electric vehicle, including private hire and taxi drivers/operators. Eligible vehicles have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 112km (70 miles) without any emissions at all. On the GOV.UK website there's a full list of eligible models and more detail and all the grants.


The grant is only available for new purpose built ULEV taxis that meet the eligibility criteria.

The PiTG scheme offers a discount on the price of eligible taxis based upon which category the taxi belongs:

  • Category 1 PiTG (up to £7,500) – a zero emission range of 70 miles or more and emissions of less than 50g CO2/km

Electric vehicle home charge scheme

The grant is a 75% contribution towards the cost of one charge-point and its installation up to a maximum of £500 (including VAT) per household/eligible vehicle.

Customers must provide evidence of keepership, lease, be named as the primary user of an eligible electric vehicle or have a vehicle on order in order to be able to qualify for the grant. A full list of eligible vehicles can be found on the GOV.UK website. 

Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan – to tackle NO2 at the roadside

In addition, as part of the Greater Manchester Outline Business Case to government in tackling NO2 at the roadside, a funding request of £28m will be submitted at the end of March 2019 for a clean taxi-PHV fund to support the purchase of compliant vehicles, the final support package will be determined at Full Business Case stage, which is to be submitted to government in December 2019, the exact date this funding will be available is yet to be confirmed, however it is envisaged that this will be in early 2020.

This page was last updated on 11 September 2019

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