GREATER Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham has accused the government of failing to provide vital cash to tackle polluting local vehicles.

He had asked for £116million to support his blueprint to make the area's 10 boroughs a 'Clean Air Zone' starting in 2021.

The cash was to help local businesses reduce polluting exhaust emissions and avoid daily fines.

Mr Burnham wanted £59m towards upgrading heavy lorries and vans, £29m to support a switch to greener buses in the city-region, and £28m to clean up taxi cabs and private hire vehicles.

He said that instead the government told the 10 councils to bring forward plans to include vans in the Clean Air Zone and offered £36m for cameras to fine non-compliant vehicles.

Mr Burnham said, who has called for meeting with Environment Secretary Michael Gove, said: “Greater Manchester stands ready to move at pace to clean up our polluted air and work in partnership with the government. But it would be unfair to ask Greater Manchester to do this alone and to fund the change by fines on small businesses.

“We don’t want a single job or business threatened by the process of cleaning up our air but we can’t guarantee this without government help."

Mr Burnham added: "Our message to the Government is clear: give Greater Manchester the funds we need to clean up our air and don’t impose a ‘clean air tax’ on our businesses. Give Greater Manchester the same support as London and play fair on clean air.”