Speaking at an event organised by Walk Ride Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham told the audience that a Parking Levy and CAZ may be on the horizon for Greater Manchester.
Burnham suggested the Clean Air Charge may return after 2024/25, following the launch of the Bee Network, and a new workplace parking levy, based on the number of parking spaces a business has.
The prospect of a two new taxes has sent opposition parties in a spin, with prominent Conservatives worried of the impact to small and large employers across the region.
The Mayor said: “I don’t think it’s necessarily easy at all there. We’re not turning our face away from clean air. The buses have already been changed, and the buses are the biggest cause of nitrogen dioxide in Greater Manchester. Now 80 per cent of the fleet is compliant. There are more than 100 zero-emission buses on order, so the air is being cleaned – just because it doesn’t take the form of a charging clean air zone.
“I feel that we need to look at issues like a workplace parking levy – I think that has to be on the agenda as we move forward.
“I think learning from the experience with the Clean Air Zone and a decade before with the congestion charge vote, we’ve made a mistake now where we’re constantly asking people to accept an upfront stick before we’ve given them the alternative, and I think that has been a bit of a problem with regard to how we’ve handled things in the past.
“Let’s get the Bee Network fully up-and-running by January 5 2025, and then when the Greater Manchester public have got an alternative, it’s then possible to have a different conversation with them about some of those tougher measures.”