Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has signed a series of deals for technical solutions to support a clean air zone (CAZ) for the city.
It has agreed contracts with engineering and mobility services company Egis, civil and electrical engineering firm McCann & Co, infrastructure consultancy AECOM and financing technology firm QV Systems.
The programme is aimed at reducing the use of vehicles that give off high carbon emissions around the city and encouraging their owners to upgrade to cleaner vehicles through a system of charges for entering the relevant zone.
The £48.1 million, five-and-a-half-year deal with Egis covers the provision of infrastructure and will involve the installation of around 850 automatic number plate recognition cameras in advance of the CAZ being launched at the end of May 2022.
The cameras are being supplied by Yunex Traffic (formerly Siemens Mobility Intelligent Traffic Systems).
AECOM has agreed on a £720,000 contract to monitor air quality across the 10 council areas involved in the scheme, collecting samples from monitoring sites and providing data to measure the effects of the initiative.
QV Systems will provide a digital platform – based on its Accelerate technology for automotive lending, leasing and financing – for businesses and commercial vehicle operators to apply for central support to buy low emission vehicles ahead of the introduction of the zone, beginning in November.
The company said service, which will be fully automated, will enable companies to check whether their vehicles comply with the scheme and if not present them with options on funding new vehicles.
The McCann deal, valued at just over £3 million, will cover the replacement and maintenance of 2,800 road signs with new ones.
TfGM has indicated that the GOV.UK CAZ platform will be used for payments.
Trials of the technology are scheduled to run between February and May of next with a ‘go live’ date set for the end of May.
Greater Manchester lead for clean air, Councillor Andrew Western, said: “It’s good to see a tremendous amount of progress being made to deliver the clean air zone, which will include local roads in all 10 Greater Manchester local authority areas.
“We’re working hard to ensure we support affected vehicle owners move to cleaner vehicles so they don’t have to pay a daily charge. While the zone launches in May 2022, there will be local exemptions in place to give businesses and organisations more time to apply for funding.
“Our goal is to reduce harmful emissions. We want to help as many people and businesses as possible to be driving cleaner vehicles so we can all breathe cleaner air.
“Our clean vehicle funds service will launch in November and I’d encourage anyone who thinks they might be affected to get up to speed at cleanairgm.com, where they can sign up for regular updates.”
Image from iStock, nensuria