To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of global supply chain issues in the automotive sector on the ability of businesses, organisations and individuals in Greater Manchester to upgrade to cleaner, compliant vehicles under the plans for the introduction of a Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone.
Under the 2017 UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Concentrations, a number of local authorities including those in Greater Manchester were required to take urgent action to address NO2 pollution.
Greater Manchester authorities identified a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) as the means of achieving compliance with NO2 levels in the shortest possible time.
We have provided for a Clean Air Fund (CAF) to help local authorities support individuals and businesses affected by local air quality plans and least able to adapt. This includes making a substantial £132 million CAF award to Greater Manchester to help businesses upgrade to compliant vehicles. The HGV support scheme has recently opened for applications. Schemes for those vehicles that will initially be exempted from the CAZ are due to launch later in the year. As such, most of the funding already provided is yet to be allocated.
We have also agreed with Greater Manchester authorities we will continue to work with them to understand the situation in the future based on the monitoring and evaluation of progress and to keep the position of further funding under review subject to clear evidence of need and have agreed a process for doing so.
We understand that Greater Manchester authorities will also provide an exemption from charging for people and businesses who can show they are awaiting the delivery of a compliant vehicle.