First roadside camera to enforce Clean Air Zone installed in Bolton
The first roadside camera to enforce the Clean Air Zone policy across Greater Manchester has been installed in Bolton.
The first Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera to enforce any non-payment of daily charges that will come with the Greater Manchester wide Clean Air Zone has been installed in Vernon Street, just outside Bolton town centre.
The zone is set to be fully rolled out across the whole city-region from May 30 2022, with vans, buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and lorries driving in Bolton which fail to meet emission standards to be affected by the plans.
Goods vehicles, buses and coaches would need to pay £60 a day to drive within the zone, with vans paying £10 and taxi and private hire vehicles paying £7.50.
Failure to pay the charge will also result in a £120 fine plus the daily charge.
Private vehicles and emission efficient vehicles will not fall within the Clean Air Zone, which will cover all 493 square miles of Greater Manchester, making it the largest such project in the UK.
MP for Bolton West and Atherton, Chris Green, has often voiced his opposition to the plans, believing this will be negative for business, and is concerned that this won’t just apply to larger vehicles in the future but all cars.
He is opposed to what he believes may become a ‘London system’, similar to the ‘congestion charge’.
Mr Green said: “I am disappointed that this project is going ahead which is fundamentally a repeat of the congestion charge zone, a proposal that the people of Bolton rejected 10 years ago.
“The GM leadership ought to be focused on addressing the worst congestion in Manchester and Salford rather than imposing this expensive scheme on us.
“I am also disappointed that it is going ahead before a suitable compensation scheme has been put in place. Many businesses will lose a huge amount of money and may well have to relocate out of the area or cut jobs.”
All ten Greater Manchester local authorities have approved the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan, which includes a government directed ‘Category C’ charging Clean Air Zone. GM has secured more than £120m government funding to help local businesses, people and organisations to upgrade to cleaner vehicles, so they can travel in a GM-wide Clean Air Zone without incurring a daily charge.
Around 850 more ANPR cameras are set to follow the Vernon Street camera with Clean Air Zone signage also being introduced on the highways network across the city-region.
Greater Manchester lead for Clean Air, Councillor Andrew Western, said: “It’s good to see a tremendous amount of progress being made to deliver the Clean Air Zone, which will include local roads in all ten Greater Manchester local authority areas.
“We’re working hard to ensure we support affected vehicle owners move to cleaner vehicles so they don’t have to pay a daily charge. While the Zone launches in May 2022, there will be local exemptions in place to give businesses and organisations more time to apply for funding.
“Our goal is to reduce harmful emissions. We want to help as many people and businesses as possible to be driving cleaner vehicles so we can all breathe cleaner air.
“Our clean vehicle funds service will launch in November and I’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be affected to get up to speed at cleanairgm.com, where they can sign up for regular updates.”
Up to 76 ANPR cameras are to be set up in Bolton including two sites each at St Peter’s Way and Watergate Lane and sites at Bank Street, Chorley New Road, Bridgeman Place, Salford Road, Hindley Road, Montserrat Brow, Lever Park Avenue, Belmont Road and Hall Lane.
Existing ANPR cameras will be used at sites including Chapeltown Road, Blackburn Road, St Helens Road, two sites on Scholes Bank, Manchester Road, Beaumont Road, Bradford Road, Dicconson Lane, Lower Leigh Road, Newbrook Road, Glynne Street, two sites on Moss Bank Way, Crompton Way, Bradshaw Brow, Wigan Road, Green Lane and Lower Bridgeman Street.
More information and a consultation questionnaire will be available at cleanairgm.com/consultation from 1 September 2021.