Trafford residents are being asked to give their views on major plans to reduce harmful air pollution and to introduce minimum standards for all taxis and private hire vehicles licensed in the area.
People and businesses across the borough and the rest of Greater Manchester are being invited to help shape the final plans by taking part in wide-ranging consultations which run until midnight on Thursday 3 December 2020.
The Government has directed Greater Manchester to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) across the region, and to bring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels on local roads within legal limits in the shortest time possible. The clean air consultation will ask for views on key elements of the Zone including its proposed boundary, daily charges, discounts and exemptions, and a request to government for a multi-million-pound funding package to support local businesses to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.
People can find out more and give their views at cleanairgm.com and gmtaxistandards.com, or request further support, including copies of consultation documentations, on 0161 244 1100. Trafford Council is itself holding its own consultation on taxi licensing policy and minimum taxi licensing standards.
The Government has already awarded Greater Manchester £41m initial funding and leaders are seeking more than £100m further funding alongside a £10m ‘Hardship fund’ to support those considered most vulnerable to the financial impacts of the CAZ. The purpose of the CAZ is to improve air quality by encouraging drivers to upgrade to a cleaner vehicle. Non-compliant vehicles would start paying the proposed daily charge when the Zone launches (expected in spring 2022), with the exception of vans and minibuses which will start paying in 2023.
Trafford Council Leader, Cllr Andrew Western, Green City-region lead, said:
“The post-lockdown recovery is extremely important to Trafford and the rest of Greater Manchester and our Clean Air Plan plays an important role in this. It is vital that we give our commercial vehicles, bus operators, hackney carriage and private hire drivers access to funding to move to a more modern, cleaner fleet that will help us all.
It is important that we make Trafford and our city-region a cleaner, greener place for the future. This plan will impact all of our lives, so let’s clean up our air, roads and communities together.”
The consultation on proposed Greater Manchester Minimum Licensing Standards (MLS) for taxis and private hire vehicles is running in parallel to ensure as much certainty and clarity as possible for the trade on any proposed changes required to their vehicles. Taxis and private hire services are a crucial part of the transport network.
Trafford Council, supported by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), want to see taxi and private hire services deliver a safe and high-quality experience for everyone, using vehicles that meet high environmental standards. The proposed standards, which would cover drivers, operators and vehicles, are designed to make sure every journey is safer, reliable and help secure their long-term future.
Sara Todd, Chief Executive of Trafford Council and Greater Manchester Chief Officer lead on taxis and private hire, said:
“We all know the importance of taxis and private hire vehicles and how they play a crucial role in keeping Trafford and the rest of Greater Manchester moving day in, day out.
At the moment there are different standards for taxi and private hire services across Greater Manchester and we have worked with the trade to develop a proposed set of minimum standards for all services licensed locally. This will, of course, help ensure that all journeys are safe and reliable. Please take part in the consultation – we want the views of everyone to be heard so that we can make sure we get this right.”
Cllr Stephen Adshead, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Air Quality and Climate Change, said:
“We want Trafford to be clean, green safe and ultimately carbon neutral. The Council is passionate in its support for the clean air proposals and minimum standards for all taxi services licensed. I would urge everyone to take part in both the Greater Manchester consultations and Trafford Councils own consultation to do their bit to shape the green future of the borough of Trafford and the rest of Greater Manchester.”
Transport for Greater Manchester is co-ordinating the Clean Air and MLS consultations on behalf of the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities. The findings from the consultation will be used to inform the final proposals next year.
Posted on Tuesday 13th October 2020