Statement in response to the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone proposal.
Elisabeth Tasker, Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester, said: "This is nothing short of a stealth tax on bus passengers, many of whom are the poorest and most excluded in our communities.
It will do little to clean up Greater Manchester's dirty air as diesel cars and vans are responsible for 71% of the nitrogen oxides that cause pollution compared with 6% from buses and coaches.
Buses are crucial in helping people access jobs, education, training, and healthcare, as well as supporting 30% of spending in city centres. Any measures which make buses more expensive will damage the bus network that is critical to the region's economy and local communities
Stagecoach has made huge multi-million-pound investment in greener buses as better technologies have become available and we also recently announced plans to deliver for Manchester one of the biggest single investments in electric buses anywhere in Europe.
In contrast, today's announcement of a new bus tax shows a continuing lack of political courage and leadership. Pollution levels are four times worse in nose to tail traffic. Political leaders in Greater Manchester should be tackling the root cause of dirty air: crippling road congestion caused by too many cars on our roads."
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