April - May Mag Issue 25 Paperturn - Page 21



NEWS
GREATER MANCHESTER CLEAN AIR PLAN
CONSULTATION UPDATE
Greater Manchester has announced that
the statutory consultation on the cityregion’s Clean Air Plan will be delayed, due
to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are mindful of the significant changes
that could result from these exceptional
times. The transport sector has already
been impacted by the pandemic, and
government policies to limit it spreading.
The consultation had been planned for this “Greater Manchester will be focused on
summer. However, like other areas of the
recovering from revenue losses, and
country, current circumstances have limited further thought and consideration is
Greater Manchester’s ability to progress the needed to see how we can move forward
delivery of the Clean Air Plan to previous
with the Clean Air Plan requirements for
timescales.
cleaner business fleets, in a post-pandemic
environment.
Greater Manchester remains committed
to cleaning up its air and continues work,
“The groups most affected by our Clean
where possible, to progress the Clean
Air Plan may require different levels
Air Plan. The government has contacted
of financial assistance than we had
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM),
anticipated at the time of our previous
which is co-ordinating the plan on behalf of submission to government.
the Greater Manchester local authorities, to
say that it understands that the pandemic
“Our commitment to cleaning up Greater
may affect previously agreed timelines.
Manchester’s air has not wavered but
these are exceptional times that require
Councillor Andrew Western, Greater
us to work flexibly and be pragmatic about
Manchester Green City-region Lead, said:
how we achieve our air quality targets in
“These are exceptional times that are
these unprecedented circumstances.”
impacting on all areas of life. Unfortunately,
we need to postpone the Clean Air Plan
Greater Manchester anticipates that there
consultation until the restrictions on all our
may be wider economic impacts that could
daily lives have been lifted and we better
significantly change the assumptions
understand the impact of COVID-19 on
that sit behind the current Clean Air Plan
businesses in Greater Manchester. “Work is Outline Business Case. Work has begun to
under way to understand the local impacts consider the impacts, and a commitment
of the pandemic. Whilst the government
made to updating the government as the
has made a number of financial packages
picture becomes clearer over time.
available to businesses and the selfemployed in this extraordinary situation,
The national response to the COVID-19
our residents and businesses are rightly
pandemic has meant that traffic levels on
focused on ensuring that they and their
Greater Manchester’s road network have
families and employees stay safe.
dropped dramatically.
There has been a transformational change
in travel behaviour, as people follow
government instructions to stay at home,
avoid public transport, and drive, cycle and
walk where possible for essential journeys.
This has resulted in significant reductions
in air pollution.
Over the coming weeks and months, work
will continue to assess the impact of travel
changes on the pollution measured by
the real-time air quality analysers across
Greater Manchester.
This will help inform how changing travel
behaviour – and reducing the amount of
traffic on our roads in the long term – can
positively affect our air quality, improve
residents’ health and help meet Greater
Manchester’s ambition to become a
carbon-neutral city-region.
Article courtesy of cleanairgm.com
21

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