Toggle menu

St Helens Borough Council calls for clean air collaboration

St Helens Borough Council has called on closer cooperation with Greater Manchester Combined Authority on its Clean Air Plan.

St Helens Town Hall

Article date: 23 March 2022

Councillor Andy Bowden has written to the authority to urge them to work more closely with places like St Helens who are on the border of the region as they look to revise the scheme after its original clean air zone programme was pushed back from May this year to devise a new clean air plan in July 2022.

The original plan would have seen the most polluting commercial vehicles face a charge to travel anywhere in the Greater Manchester region.

Councillor Bowden said: "Poor air quality is a complex and cross boundary issue that affects us all. As a council we have committed to making our borough greener. Air quality is a key aspect of this. Not only does it help to improve the environment but it can also support people to live healthier lives. We know air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health and contributes to chronic cardiovascular and respiratory conditions.

"As a council on the border of Greater Manchester we want to work together with partners on a solution that our residents will also benefit from to help see air quality improve for us all. That includes avoiding any prejudicial charges for St Helens Borough based businesses as part of any future plans."

As part of its own air quality improvement programme St Helens Borough Council has successfully secured £650,000 for a commercial vehicle retrofit and replacement fund from Defra.

The fund will allow the council to operate a business grants scheme over the next two financial years, with details on how businesses can apply for support towards low and no emission vehicles like electric cars and vans coming soon.

Councillor Bowden added: "This funding is set to go to Cabinet on Wednesday and if approved will provide businesses with a real opportunity to make the change to greener transport options with our help. The amount of funding shows once again as a council we want to take the lead in innovative ways of reaching our ambitions for our borough reaching net zero emissions by 2040."