Next week, cab operators in Bolton will organize their second demonstration against Clean Air Zone (CAZ) fines.
This follows demonstrations held on January 10 in Bolton town centre to dispute the CAZ plans.
Due to this protest, which will occur outside Bolton Town Hall, taxi cabs will be unavailable between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday.
But a skeleton crew will be available on call in the event of an emergency.
Operators claim that their biggest fear is the daily CAZ fees they’ll have to remit, which are imposed regardless of whether one is working or not, because the same taxi also serves as a personal car.
They’re also concerned with the financial implications of having to buy a vehicle used for less than five years.
Mahmood Akhtar, the Vice Chairman of the Bolton Private Hire Association, says that they’ll continue protesting either until the CAZ is repelled or have a sitting with the council to discuss the funding.
This, Akhtar says, is not a call for alarm, but rather a public outcry on behalf of small businesses who must raise their charges to cover the cost of the fees.
It makes no sense to impose the costs because the automobiles they will no longer drive will continue to be utilized on the highways by the general public, who will not be required to pay the Clean Air Charge.
On this very day and time, Oldham and Bury drivers are anticipated to organize protests in their respective localities.
Metro Cars owner, Nick Astley, reported they are doing this during the quiet period because they would not wish to interrupt learning in public schools.
If passed, the proposal will have a significant impact on the public since the taxi operators will have to raise rates to cover the additional expenses.
Astley also added that they are not opposed to the CAZ but are afraid that people’s livelihoods may be jeopardized.
On Thursday, the Greater Manchester Air Quality Administration Committee will hold a conference to propose seeking the approval of the Secretary of State to halt the commencement of Clean Air grant assistance until a review is completed. All this has been propelled by last week’s critical meetings between Greater Manchester’s leaders and Metro Mayor Andy Burnham.
Taxis will be free from CAZ levies until June 1, 2023.
The Minimum Licensing Standards (MLS) conference, which will determine if cab operators must have cars that have been on the road for less than five years, has been postponed until February 7th.
The council also intends to have further discussions with the taxi industry before proceeding with the MLS.