Piccadilly Traffic

Arup on board for Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan

The consultant, working with Aecom, will draw up a plan to bring pollution from cars and road traffic in the region down to legal levels in the next five years, including potential clean air charges for “the most polluting” vehicles.

The plan will cover all 10 of Greater Manchester’s boroughs and will aim to reduce levels of nitrogen oxide in the air.

Lead advisor Arup and Aecom will work with Greater Manchester’s councils, as well as Transport for Greater Manchester, to work up plans including setting up clean transport funds, investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and establishing a clean air zone.

This clean air zone could lead to charges for “the most polluting buses, coaches, HGVs, vans, taxis, and private hire vehicles” to drive in certain areas in the region.

This will build a full business case to be submitted to the Government; an informal consultation is already under way with a full formal consultation to start later in 2019, providing the opportunity for the public and businesses to give their views.

An outline business case was submitted in March; subject to approval, measures would be introduced in Greater Manchester in 2021 in line with a target to reduce emissions by 2024.

Simon Warburton, transport strategy director at TfGM, said: “The Outline Case submitted to government set out a high-level package approach to tackle the urgent problem of air pollution across our city-region.

“There will now be a focus on the detailed design of this package, including the complex technical process to ensure we have the right measures for Greater Manchester.

“This will include wide-ranging engagement and formal consultation with all impacted groups, with feedback taken into consideration before proposals are resubmitted to local authorities for further consideration and approval.

“We will also be pressing the government to ensure that the right national policy framework is put in place, particularly with regard to ensuring that the right funding and supply chain conditions are in place for vehicle renewal, and to establish a clear approach to addressing pollution on the motorway network.”

Dave Newton, director at Arup, added: “Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. With reports published on an almost daily basis giving worrying insights into the effects of air pollution on our health and environment, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that we must act to protect the future health of our towns and cities.

“Drawing on a breadth of technical expertise, we’re committed to working with Greater Manchester to improve its air quality, and in doing so, understand how we can achieve the city-region’s wider strategic goals to promote sustainability, inclusion and growth.”

Your Comments

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black cabs and buses in the city centre are the worst pollutants, why they are not gas or electric only?

By engineer

Nice one Arup a big fat fee for doing what ? You’ve already decided haven’t you why bother with the study just ban cars. Taking public money for this is a disgrace. Who set “ the levels” anyway ? That’s right consultants . Arup get off the gravy train and go back to designing buildings .

By Roberto

Re-badged congestion charging. Again.

By D

Never mind the air they need to clean the streets it’s a right hole.

By Anonymous

1. Its not a congestion fee: most vehicles would enter any Clean Air Zone without paying a fee
2. There are measures being considered as part of the Plan that would target cabs and buses. Note that buses carry multiple passengers also.
3. The levels are set by the UK Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU), not by consultants. The reason for the plan is illegal levels of pollutants in the air in a number of cities across the UK – the government has been forced to act after losing a legal challenge by the charity Green Earth.

Easy to be cynical here, but TfGM and AGMA do not have the resources or expertise to deal with the scale of this issue without outside expertise. The fact there is action to clean up our poisonous air should be welcomed.

By Informed

The Joint Air Quality Unit !!! Who are they ? Are Arup part of that group . Anyway who are they ? Any action the clean up poisonous are should be welcomed but who decides that ! Sooner or later a regressive tax is coming under the guise of public health. Cheers Arup stay part of the cartel !!!

By Roberto

Doesn’t matter how you try to dress it up and justify it, their opening gambit is to talk about taxing car drivers. So, its yet another scam to raise revenues, and because the people responsible don’t have a clue they spend huge sums on consultants to justify the plans they have been trying to enforce for years.

By D

Roberto – In February 2016 the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) was established by Defra and the Department for Transport to coordinate delivery of the Government’s plans for achieving NO2 compliance.

A simple Google search would suffice rather than ranting on public forums.

By Anonymous

I’ve just done the google search. I can’t find any names of people on the committee just what they are tasked to do which
Is to see that the UK meets EU targets !!! I say again who set those targets. Committees are people ,who are they ? Apologies if I am not a google expert. Regressive taxes incoming as ever ! Oh by the way having an opinion is not a rant ! If it is Arup constantly rant about pollution , mind you why not there are fat fees to be had !!!

By Roberto

After just coming back from Amsterdam this weekend, it’s really hard to comprehend the gulf in quality between these cities, the same with Copenhagen. How cycling hasn’t been widely invested in is beyond me, it’s such a walk-able, cycle-able city which should do better. Manchester on the surface looks like a city in motion with cranes and hoardings shooting up on every corner. But it’s streets and residents choking slowly. I kid you not, vast swathes of cabs in Amsterdam are Tesla’s, the ridiculously low number of vehicles create such a healthier atmosphere. The problem looks insurmountable, one can only hope.

By Lcb

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