Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has announced it will delay its clean air zone (CAZ) rollout until Spring 2022.

It also plans to slash the daily charge for non-compliant HGVS to £60, originally proposed at a level of £100.

Older vans, meanwhile, will face a higher daily charge of £10 from the originally proposed £7.50, however they will not come into scope of the CAZ regime until the beginning of 2023.

Manchester’s Category C CAZ spans across 10 boroughs and is the largest outside of London. It will apply to older HGVS, vans, buses, minibuses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles.

An eight-week consultation is planned for October this year, which will ask for views on a fine-tuned CAZ package following earlier feedback from the public and affected businesses.

The government has already committed £41m to support Manchester businesses to upgrade their vehicles, with an initial £8m earmarked for HGV operators.

GMCA is now seeking to secure an additional £110 to boost this support fund, proposing £80m for a van replacement scheme.

Councillor Andrew Western, Greater Manchester green city-region lead, said: “We want everyone in Greater Manchester to enjoy better, secure standards of living, in a city-region that puts lives and living at the heart of everything we do.

“The last few months have brought about a reduction in road traffic and a massive increase in cycling and walking journeys, and we should grasp these benefits to help shape a recovery that is green and sustainable.

“We know that people want to see further improvements to cleaning up our air, and we are committed to doing this as quickly as we can while supporting our businesses, to make sure they can upgrade to cleaner vehicles ahead of the introduction of the proposed Clean Air Zone.”

Responding to confirmation of the new start date for Greater Manchester's CAZ, the RHA has called into question the point of the scheme.

Chris Ashley, RHA head of policy -environment and regulation, said: “Given the delay to 2022, we question the need for TfGM’s proposed Clean Air Zone. Thanks to a £1.9bn investment by hauliers, we estimate that NOx emissions from HGVs have already fallen by 60% since 2013 and this trend will continue.

“At a time when the UK has experienced the most profound economic shock in living memory, there are better ways to achieve the clean air we all want without punishing hard-working businesses with draconian charges.”