Taxi and private hire drivers are set to protest in Manchester city centre as concerns over Clean Air Zone (CAZ) plans mount.
Hundreds of cabbies are being urged to attend the protest, taking place tomorrow, to express their concerns over the increased costs passed onto their taxi businesses. The taxi industry was one of the most hardest hit sectors throughout the coronavirus pandemic due to government restrictions put in place. Low demand for cabs sparked work-levels to plummet.
Manchester's CAZ is set to launch in May 2022 and will charge motorists, and licensed taxi drivers, a fee if their vehicles do not meet the minimum requirements.
Greater Manchester’s (GM) CAZ is aided by more than £120million in government funding. A total of £21.4million of those funds will be made available to the taxi industry to help build a greener fleet of vehicles licensed within the Greater Manchester area. Applications for funding support opened at the tail end of last year.
The CAZ will cover all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester - an area of around 493 square miles - which would be the largest scheme of its kind in the country.
Taxis and private hire vehicles will be required to pay £7.50 from 2023 if they do not meet standards. Failure to pay the charge would also result in a £120 fine.