No Clear Air Zone

For almost a decade now, Manchester has been developing plans to implement its own Clean Air Zone (CAZ) – essentially, an area in the United Kingdom where specific action is taken to improve air quality within its bounds. Similar plans have already been implemented (with varying degrees of success) in cities like Bournemouth, Bristol, and Sheffield, amongst others. Manchester’s own plans have hit various obstacles over the years, and now finally, the news has come through that they’ve been officially shelved.

That’s significant news for anyone looking through our own online car auctions for secondhand cars – as the Zone’s restrictions could have had major implications for their use within its boundaries. Now though, the city’s leadership is exploring a more ‘investment led’ approach. Here’s more about where things stand as of now.

Manchester’s Clean Air Zone – more than a decade in the unmaking

So, why the sudden change of heart regarding the CAZ? Well, there are lots of varied reasons, but no small amount of them are rooted in the concerns about the proposed Zone’s financial implications, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local businesses and individual residents alike expressed concerns about the potential economic strain, especially in a time when living costs are rising exponentially.

The city then had to contend with stumbling blocks around the bus retrofit data and the Clean Taxi Fund. (In short, Manchester’s leadership is obligated to significantly upgrade its public transport network, and with the disappearance of those Clean Air Zone plans, that obligation isn’t going anywhere.) Shortly afterwards, the plans for the CAZ were shelved entirely.

Now, while that may give Greater Manchester residents some measure of relief, it hasn’t made the core problem of poor air quality magically go away. However, it’s worth noting that Manchester City Council haven’t abandoned their pledge to improve air quality in the city. Rather, they’re now exploring more effective ways to do it.

Carrot, not stick

Leaving aside the plans for the Clean Air Zone (CAZ), Manchester's leaders are pushing forward with innovative strategies to tackle air pollution. Instead of abandoning their efforts entirely, they're proposing an extensive investment-led plan covering Greater Manchester, with a holistic approach which aims to address nitrogen dioxide exceedances on roads, prioritising efficiency and affordability first and foremost.

At the heart of this strategy are the initiatives targeting cleaner public transport options, such as buses and taxis, alongside localised traffic management solutions. Substantial funds are being allocated to support these initiatives, including a £22.5 million Clean Taxi Fund and an additional £8 million to assist hackney carriage owners across the region.

As Manchester's leadership finalises these plans for submission to the government, attention turns to Westminster for the final decision. Watch this space!

And in the meantime, the good news is that you can explore our range of salvage cars and online car auctions with complete peace of mind. We’ve got a huge range to choose from in our online car auctions, including many from world-famous brands like MercedesCitroen and Peugeot. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always bargains to be found. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?