Updated: Aug 21, 2020
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is looking to appoint a panel of FCA authorised financiers to support vehicle upgrades ahead of the introduction of a Greater Manchester charging Clean Air Zone in spring 2022.
Greater Manchester has developed a Clean Air Plan to tackle Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) exceedances at the roadside, and it is shortly to consult on a package of measures that it has developed to deliver compliance in the shortest possible time, including a proposed Vehicle Finance scheme.
As part of the plans, Greater Manchester is proposing that up to £120m of central government funding will be made available by way of grants and contributory finance to provide support to around 30,000 affected owners and operators of non-compliant vehicles.
The Vehicle Finance scheme includes plans for a panel of finance providers to offer preferential products to applicants eligible for government provided Clean Air funds, contributing towards the finance costs of compliant replacement HGVs, LGVs, taxis, private hire vehicles, coaches and minibuses.
Steve Warrener, Director of Finance & 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 is now inviting bids from vehicle financiers to join the panel, with the invitation to tender due to be published on Monday 21 September.
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. 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 14 September and 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** Clean Air Zone as part of Clean Air Plan proposals, inside which the most polluting vehicles would pay a daily charge to drive. The Clean Air Plan is designed to bring NO2 air pollution levels from road vehicles within legal limits by 2024 at the latest.
In response to the Clean Air Plan proposals, the Government has already committed £41 million to support Greater Manchester businesses, sole traders and the voluntary sector to help upgrade to cleaner commercial vehicles.