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Bolton Council's call to remove Clean Air Zone cameras

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karlypants

karlypants
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Bolton Council's call to remove Clean Air Zone cameras 14326518?type=responsive-gallery-fullscreen

Calls have been made to remove the Clean Air Zone cameras from roads to prevent any sort of charging from being implement under new plans

Concerns over Clean Air Zone charges have been raised by Bolton councillors - who have voted to reject any cost that comes with the policy.

The controversial policy was due to come into force this year, but after a backlash from businesses, the scheme was re-looked at.

Under the original scheme commercial vehicles faced a daily charge if their vehicles did not meet criteria, leading to protest, particularly from taxi drivers.

Now leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Martyn Cox has called from the cameras to be removed.

He argued that while the cameras were in place, that this scheme could still be implemented 'one way or another'.

The first Clean Air Zone Camera was put up in Bolton on Vernon Street.

Councillors voted to reject charges if they are brought back at a recent meeting.

Labour leader Cllr Nick Peel shared concerns over a charging system coming into place in Greater Manchester, because of it "already being imposed" in other areas across the country.

Cllr Peel added: "The Government needs to withdraw their directives to Bolton and the rest of Greater Manchester to introduce charging, and this council needs to reiterate that we reject any form of charging as a solution.

"And we support Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester for a non-charging investment led CAZ within the Greater Manchester region."

This was seconded by Conservative Leader Martyn Cox who says that the council do not 'want a charging scheme for Greater Manchester'.

He added: "A charging zone for Greater Manchester is not what we want.

"It is not what is needed; it's not what is required.

"And we should go one step further and ask the mayor not only to not implement this, also take down the cameras."

Cllr Cox argued that while the cameras were in place, that this scheme could still be implemented 'one way or another'.

This was echoed by Cllr David Grant, who pointed out that as long as the cameras existed, that the scheme could be 'implemented anywhere else, including Bolton'.

The charging zone and policy was described as 'disastrous' by Cllr John Walsh who said that Bolton and the whole of Greater Manchester would be impacted if this system was imposed.

He added: "Huge sums of public money were expended on signs, on cameras and on infrastructure unnecessarily, and wastefully."

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal said that many private taxi vehicles, and white van users in Bolton also enter Manchester daily, so would be hugely affected by the whole scheme whether it's in Bolton, or across Greater Manchester.

Cllr Nick Peel filed a motion for Bolton to implement a Category B non-charging CAZ at the meeting.

Whilst there was much discussion around which party initially supported a CAZ charging policy, all councillors voted in favour of the motion to remove the charges, which will now be taken to the Government for consideration.

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