If the government agrees, no vehicles will be charged to enter Greater Manchester’s new Clean Air Zone.
The new proposals will instead provide more incentives for drivers and companies to replace high-emission vehicles, including subsidies and possible tax breaks, the region’s mayor said.
“The red line is that we will not accept a Clean Air Zone in Greater Manchester,” Burnham said in a statement. “If the government wants it, it will have to impose it.”
Whitehall has ordered all parts of England to cut air pollution by 2024, with different places taking different approaches.
Greater Manchester’s original plan to create Europe’s largest charging CAZ – a massive 500-square-mile zone – was halted in February amid massive protests that planned fees of up to £60 a day would put thousands of businesses and jobs at risk. .
Burnham himself was widely criticized for trying to move the plan forward despite widespread opposition.
The scheme – which is said to have started in May – was put on hold after the government extended the region’s 2024 deadline to 2026.
A new detailed plan for the settlement will now be announced in June or July, but Friday’s statement suggests Mr Burnham is keen to ensure that if charges are made, he is not the one to blame.
He said he and other council leaders had “listened” and plans in development were “significantly different”.
By increasing the use of electric vehicles and converting buses to electric, along with a range of other measures, he said the clean air targets could be met at no cost.
The zone will continue to be used, along with cameras, to monitor pollution and identify vehicles that could be eligible for funding to convert to electric.