‘Thoughtless’ Andy Burnham slammed on car tax plans which would have ‘damaged’ Manchester

PMQs: PM says Clean Air Zone is ‘unworkable’

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Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, Boris Johnson criticised the plans for the now-delayed Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone. The launch date of the scheme was originally in May, but was delayed due to fears that businesses would not be able to comply with the CAZ.

The emissions-based charging zone would have been the largest of its kind in the country, covering an area of almost 500 miles.

Its implementation would have seen non-compliant heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), buses and coaches all charged £60 per day to drive inside the area.

Vans would have been charged £10 per day, with taxis and private hire cars seeing costs of £7.50.

But after a major public backlash, the Government agreed to move the deadline it set for Greater Manchester to lower air pollution below legal limits by two years to 2026.

Talks between Greater Manchester leaders and the Government are underway to design a “substantially different” scheme.

There are hopes that this could come into force as soon as July.

Bury South MP James Daly, speaking in Parliament, hit out at the original plan.

He said: “On July 28 last year, every Labour councillor in Bury voted in favour of Andy Burnham’s plan to impose a 493 square mile clean air charging zone upon my constituents and the residents of Greater Manchester.

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“The mayor’s plan is an attack on jobs and opportunity and is based upon flawed data and should be scrapped, does he agree?”

Mr Johnson responded: “As somebody who once had to deal with a badly thought out emission zone, it is totally wrong to impose measures thoughtlessly that damage business and don’t do very much to protect clean air.

“I think the Mayor of Manchester has done the wrong thing and I’m glad that we’re delaying.”

This is not the first time Boris Johnson has publicly criticised the Manchester Clean Air Zone.

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