Fleet News

Manchester developing CAZ vehicle finance scheme

A panel of financiers is being sought by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to provide support to fleet operators of non-compliant vehicles ahead of the introduction of a Greater Manchester charging clean air zone (CAZ) in spring 2022.

Up to £120 million of Government funding will be made available by way of grants and contributory finance to provide support to around 30,000 affected owners and operators to replace HGVs, LGVs, taxis, private hire vehicles, coaches and minibuses.

Under the proposals for a CAZ, the most polluting HGVs, buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles would pay a daily charge to travel in Greater Manchester.

Non-compliant vans and minibuses would be exempt from CAZ daily charges until 2023 to give vehicle owners more time to upgrade, as would wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles, and Greater Manchester-registered coaches.

It is due to launch a consultation on a package of measures that it has developed to deliver compliance in the shortest possible time, including the proposed vehicle finance scheme.

Steve Warrener, director of finance and corporate services at TfGM, said: “Greater Manchester is committed to supporting vehicle owners, to make sure they can upgrade to cleaner vehicles ahead of the introduction of the proposed clean air zone.

“This includes creating a panel of approved vehicle finance providers who appreciate the importance of the clean air agenda and would seek to be involved through the provision of affordable vehicle finance utilising government provided Clean Air funding.”

TfGM seems determined to plough on with its CAZ despite other cities now putting the brakes on their plans after pollution levels have fallen due to Covid-19.

Leeds City Council announced last week it was suspending the introduction of its CAZ while it re-assesses the air quality issues in the city. 

Meanwhile, Bristol City Council says it may reverse its plan to introduce a CAZ and is looking at alternative options to improve air quality.

Commercial Fleet first identified that air quality improvements achieved during lockdown, if maintained, could weaken the case for CAZs.

TfGM, however, is sticking to its plans and is now inviting bids from vehicle financiers to join the panel, with the invitation to tender due to be published on Monday, September 21, 2020.

Using the Greater Manchester Clean Commercial Vehicle Fund and Clean Taxi Fund, the vehicle funding scheme will offer eligible owners of a non-compliant vehicle the option of either a lump sum grant or a finance contribution towards vehicle finance for upgrade to a compliant vehicle, says TfGM. Applicants will be able to choose the option which best suits their individual circumstances.

The scheme will be supported by a digital platform linking with both the financiers and TfGM. The digital platform will be a tender to market which will be published on Monday 14 September 2020. All interested organisations should also register on ProContract to access the invitation to tender.

Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities have been instructed by government to implement a city-region-wide category C CAZ as part of clean air plan proposals, inside which the most polluting vehicles would pay a daily charge to drive.

The plan is designed to bring NO2 air pollution levels from road vehicles within legal limits by 2024 at the latest.

The Government has already committed £41m to support Greater Manchester businesses, sole traders and the voluntary sector to help upgrade to cleaner commercial vehicles.

The long-term impact of Covid-19 - a Fleet News survey

Fleet News is asking for fleet decision-makers’ views on the long-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic with a quick-fire, multiple choice survey.

Several of the questions are the same as our first and second coronavirus surveys carried out in March/April and May (see the digital issue of Fleet News for the latest results), enabling us to identify any trends or changes in policy since then.

It will take no more than four minutes of your time to complete the survey below.

Your feedback will help Fleet News create a picture of how the fleet sector is adapting to the current challenges.

We will share the insight with you via the September issue of Fleet News.

We hope your business is proving resilient at this challenging time and will continue to support you throughout this crisis with advice, insight and analysis.

Thank you.

Stephen Briers

Editor-in-chief

Fleet News

I'll give my views



Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Comment as guest


Login  /  Register

Comments

No comments have been made yet.

Related content

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee