Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone: cost of covering up signs ‘will not be covered by original £3m contract’
Stickers will be need to cover the signs already installed after the roll-out of the Greater Manchester clean air zone was paused.
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The cost of putting stickers on hundreds of out-of-date Clean Air Zone (CAZ) signs will not be covered by the £3m contract paid for by Greater Manchester.
Transport bosses have confirmed that the £3m contract for signage awarded to McCann in September will not cover the cost of the 1,194 stickers needed.
It comes after the Clean Air Zone which was due to come into effect in May was paused as the deadline to meet air quality standards moves to 2026.
Greater Manchester has until July to submit a new scheme to the government.
However, of the 1,309 CAZ signs which have been installed across the city-region so far, 1,194 reference the original opening date of 30 May, 2022.
Stickers must now be installed on all of the signs referencing the wrong date – but this work will not be covered by the original £3m contract for CAZ signage.
A Clean Air Greater Manchester spokesperson said: “Following a competitive tender, McCann and Company Limited was awarded a £3.04m contract for services related to signage in support of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.
“Stickers were not part of the original requirement of the contract and work is ongoing to finalise the costs for installing the stickers on the affected Clean Air Zone signs. This work is due to start in the coming weeks.
“Greater Manchester is now working on a new plan for clean air with the government and it is important that people understand that charging will not take place as originally planned from 30 May 2022.”
What’s the background to this?
Daily charges for lorries, buses and taxis which are not licensed locally were due to start later this year with more vehicles to be charged from June 2023.
But the government agreed to postpone the deadline for Greater Manchester to bring pollution levels below legal limits from 2024 to 2026 after issues with the global supply chain dramatically raising the price of vehicles came to light.
A ‘substantially different’ scheme must now be designed and agreed by July.
According to a report to Greater Manchester leaders, the scope of the review will include boundaries, discounts, exemptions, charges and vehicles affected.
The report to the Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee also addresses concerns about the financial support available to businesses.
Funding for HGV and bus replacement and retrofit will remain open and will be offered to small businesses as well from 28 February, according to the report.
Those who have already received funding will not have to return any money.
Arrangements are put in place for people who bought new vehicles but cannot access funding now allowing authorties to award cash on case-by-case basis.
So far, 422 successful applications for discounts and exemptions have been submitted, but this process has been paused while the scheme is reviewed.
Of the 870 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras which were to be set up to identify non-compliant vehicles, 406 have been installed so far.
It is now proposed that they will gather ‘real time’ data to inform the review.
The Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee will meet on Monday (28 February) to discuss the next steps of the Clean Air Zone review.