Controversial plans to implement a Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone (Clean Air Zone) could presumably be delayed.

Bolton council chief Martyn Cox praised the choice to push again the May start date for the CAZ within the wake of a huge protest by taxi drivers which choked up the town yesterday.

Plans for a daily cost of between £7 and £60 for vans or pickups, taxis and personal hire automobiles has created a tide of opposition from operators and small businesses fearing they will be compelled off the highway by ‘inconceivable’ calls for to upgrade their vehicles.

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But, following meetings held today, Coun Cox advised Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has determined to place a hold on the plans for now.

Bolton council leader Martyn Cox

The Bolton council chief told the Manchester Evening News : “While I perceive the concern of the taxi drivers, the fees for them were really not due to come into effect until 2023.

“I think a lot of them assumed they might be charged from this May, which is not the case. I suppose some higher public communication with them may be in order. The taxi people should have an inexpensive period of time to comply.”

Coun Cox mentioned there were valid issues in regards to the provide chains for model spanking new automobiles and ‘retrofitting’ to make them clean-air compliant, however he stated the law dictates that only the government can pause the scheme.

He went on: “The scheme was designed in a interval before the global pandemic, and earlier than the necessary thing supply chains were hit.

“People cannot comply due to forces exterior their control and actually also the federal government’s control. This makes it extremely troublesome for people to conform.”

But he said Greater Manchester alone ‘can’t cancel the scheme’.

“It needs the Secretary of State to concern a directive,” he added.

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