As Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone is delayed we ask Mancunians how they feel about the controversial scheme

The introduction of Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone is being delayed, the government has announced.

The scheme was due to come into force in May, but the GMCA has now been given until July to submit a revised plan.

The announcement came a day after hundreds of taxi drivers protested against the proposals, while Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham urged the government to ‘take the politics out’ of the situation and work together on a solution.

We asked Mancunians how they feel about the controversial scheme:

Andrew, 48, lives in the city center but isn’t a motorist.

He says: “I want clean air, but I don’t want it to be harmful to the economy.

“It doesn’t affect me as a motorist, but obviously the air and the economy affects me.

“It could mean less people going in to the city center.”

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Liz Faith, 50, from Littleborough is a riding instructor and says her take on the Clean Air Zone is that it is “horrendous.”

She says: “There’s going to be issues getting horses to vets.

“A lot of people on horse sites are saying it is going to make people have to get rid of animals.

“They are not going to be able to transport them anywhere.

“Transporting to vets is an issue and will have a negative effect on animal welfare.

“Equestrian centers will have to close.

“The farming community will be affected.

“It’s horrible.”

Liz Faith

Lyndsey Fitzimmons, 34, a travel agent and says she doesn’t feel enough has been done to let people know what it is all about.

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She feels it is being brought in by stealth and is concerned as she is often out on the road.

She said: “I have been driving a long time and I do a lot of driving.

“But I have not seen signs about it or explanations and I am going to have to start researching.

“We are already being hit by an energy increase.

“I travel to work in the city center.

“If it is too expensive I am going to have to be working from home.

“They want people to have electric cars – but as £20,000 it’s not affordable.

Lyndsey Fitzimmons

Connor Dowling, 28, an NHS manager, lives in Prestwich and says people close to him are being affected.

He says: “My step dad is a taxi driver and he was gutted by the news.

“It’s good that there is such a backlash from working people.

“I see a lot of people who are apathetic, so it’s good to see that people stand up for themselves when they want to.

“It has been short notice when so many people are driving around in vehicles that will be affected.

“It could end up in a destitute cost of living.”

Connor Dowling

Calvin Nkabinde, 28, an assistant accountant, is worried about the effect on people’s finances.

He feels that along with the rising costs of living, replacing vehicles is another burden.

“I think the problem is the government are pushing us to have electric cars.

“But people don’t want to be pushed in to have a loan.

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“Not everyone has £20,000 to spend.

“I am worried that in a few years time we are all going to be in debt.

“But the public transport from Prestwich to Bury is diabolical.

“So, we are caught between a rock and a hard place.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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