Andy Burnham has set out his ‘pink line’ as Higher Manchester goes into negotiations with the federal government over the revised Clear Air Zone plans. The Labour mayor mentioned native leaders is not going to settle for a charging Clear Air Zone, calling for money incentives as an alternative – however he dismissed claims of a ‘climb down’. It comes after the controversial scheme stays below evaluate with seven weeks left for the city-region to agree a brand new proposal with the federal government. However the fast-approaching deadline of July means the general public will not be consulted on the revised Clear Air Zone proposal till after it’s agreed. Talking at a press convention on Friday (Might 13), Mr Burnham set out Higher Manchester’s ‘pink line’ forward of negotiations with the federal government. He mentioned: “We is not going to settle for a charging Clear Air Zone in Higher Manchester. If that’s what the federal government desires, it should impose it on us.” READ MORE: Downing Avenue was like ‘final days of Rome’ throughout lockdown, Andy Burnham says Mr Burnham will now write to all Higher Manchester MPs, asking them to help this place and calling on Conservatives to cease ‘taking part in politics’. The mayor criticised his opponents of spreading ‘misinformation’ in regards to the Clear Air Zone and who’s chargeable for it forward of the latest native elections. Nonetheless, he denied his newest place on the Clear Air Zone is a ‘climb down’. He mentioned: “I personally do not see how one can presumably name it a climb down. We needed to agree a plan with the federal government pre-pandemic. We did not have a selection. We needed to agree a plan with them and we did, working in good religion. “However a plan agreed pre-pandemic clearly was not going to work post-pandemic and we have been those who blew the whistle on that – not the federal government. [We] went again to the federal government and mentioned the place is not workable and we have negotiated the place that permits for a non-charging zone.” What do you assume? Have your say in our feedback beneath. Higher Manchester’s Clear Air Zone, which was set to start out charging sure automobiles from Might 30, was paused following a public backlash earlier this yr. Native authority leaders requested the federal government to delay the deadline by which councils needed to deliver air air pollution down beneath authorized limits from 2024 to 2026. It comes after analysis discovered that provide chain points within the automobile market attributable to Covid meant the price of new vans had elevated by as much as 60 computer. Mr Burnham mentioned no costs could be wanted if the deadline was prolonged by two years – however he claims the federal government solely provided a one yr delay at first. Along with the 9 Labour leaders in Higher Manchester, the mayor wrote to the Prime Minister after the two-year delay was agreed, calling for all CAZ costs to be scrapped – and this had the backing of Bolton’s Tory chief too. However writing again eight weeks later, Boris Johnson didn’t rule out costs.
Higher Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Trafford council chief Andrew Western
(Picture: Native Democracy Reporting Service)
Transport for Higher Manchester (TfGM) should now current proof to the federal government that air high quality compliance might be achieved with none costs. As a substitute, the mayor is arguing for a non-charging Class B scheme which might determine the non-compliant buses, lorries and taxis utilizing Higher Manchester’s roads and provide house owners funding to improve their automobiles. Below this scheme, vans would not be eligible for any CAZ funding. Trafford council chief Andrew Western mentioned that the federal government wouldn’t present funding to improve automobiles if it isn’t obligatory to satisfy the targets. He mentioned: “We at the moment are able the place we consider we are able to obtain compliance with out vans being included in that and that is why they’re out the scheme shifting ahead.” Coun Western, who has this week put himself ahead to develop into a Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston, mentioned he could be writing to the Secretary of State along with Mr Burnham to set out Higher Manchester’s normal place. He promised there will likely be a ‘vary of labor’ to have interaction with the general public – and particularly individuals who could be affected – on the practicalities of the proposal. Nonetheless, Mr Burnham mentioned a ‘significant’ session could not happen till after the final phrases of the brand new scheme are agreed with the federal government. He added: “It could not take to July. If the federal government agree with us, they might write again to me subsequent week and say, we agree, let’s seek the advice of on it. The ball isn’t solely in our court docket and we have at all times started working by means of the federal government.” The mayor mentioned the entire Clear Air Zone infrastructure will likely be ‘switched off’ when air high quality compliance is achieved and the Automated Quantity Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras might be given to Higher Manchester Police.