Several cities in the UK have delayed plans to load polluting cars into their city centers (Photo: AFP, Getty, Rex)

Plans to create low-emission zones to tackle major pollution hotspots in the UK have been postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

This week, Manchester arrived at Leeds, Birmingham and Bath in & # 39; the delay of & # 39; a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) introduction, which would pay most commercial cars for entry if they do not meet emission standards.

One of & # 39; rides in & # 39; e zone, which would have been the largest of the UK, said it would be delayed by a year until 2022 because of the difficulty of completing the project while maintaining social distance rules.

Leeds, Birmingham and Bath have suspended their clean air zones from this year to 2021 at the earliest, while a low-emission zone in Oxford is set to be delayed until next summer.

Transport for London (TfL) has halted London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) until further warning to help key workers get to their jobs.

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Clean air zones require local businesses to participate in consultations to guide logistical planning, although no local authority has explained why these cannot be implemented within social distance guidelines.

The Trafford Council leader said the delay was not expected to stop Greater Manchester from bringing itself in line with legal air pollution limits.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has been accused of falling behind planning deadlines, with criticism suggesting that the proposals were not ready for public consultation, even if it was not for the pandemic.

Nitrogen dioxide levels in Manchester have dropped by 30 percent amid a lockdown (Photo: Anthony Devlin / Getty Images)

Katie Nield, an environmental charity lawyer ClientEarth, told The Oldham Times on Friday: & # 39; Greater Manchester is so far behind in its planning that it has not even released its detailed final proposals, let alone asked for public comment on them.

& # 39; We are extremely concerned and frankly concerned about Greater Manchester's lax approach to protecting people's health from the harmful effects of air pollution. & # 39;

The pandemic has seen nitrogen dioxide levels rise by almost a third in London and Manchester, with figures suggesting the number of cars on the roads of & # 39; e UK has fallen anywhere from half to around 70 per cent.

Mayor for additional funding for local authorities that plan clen air zones, Mayor Andy Burnham said: "We can't go back to how we were – no one wants the levels of air pollution and control that we did not experience.

& # 39; We must seize the opportunities that this difficult situation offers to support our businesses through recovery and in a greener future. & # 39;

Bristol is planning to ban all private diesel cars from its city center by 2021, and this week said it plans to make full pedestrian access to a section of the Old City area.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the government was assisting cities in delaying their clean air zones to focus on Covid-19.

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