A BUSINESS boss involved in a demonstration on the M60 on Sunday is speaking out on his reasons for opposition to the Clean Air Zone.

The anonymous owner of a business based in Oldham, who also lives in Saddleworth, met with around 100 others at Tesco Extra in Stockport, then crawled around the motorway to protest against the scheme.

READ MORE: Around 100 drivers take to M60 motorway in 'go-slow' protest.

He had seen the demonstration advertised on Rethink The Clean Air Zone, a group on Facebook of almost 50,000 opponents to the scheme, which is set to see the drivers of non-compliant vehicles accountable for daily charges from May 30.

Although he had not been involved in a protest before, and in spite of the disruption to the M60, he felt obligated to be involved in this one.

He said: "Yes, there might've been a bit of inconvenience for some people, but it's better to get off your backside because that's how you'll get noticed.

"People can talk all they want on Facebook, but the Clean Air Zone is fundamentally wrong."

The reasons for his opposition are several, although first and foremost are the cost of compliant vehicles and the size of the Clean Air Zone.

He explained he would need to spend around £250,000 on three electric vans to avoid daily charges, a lot more than the financial support available from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

He said: "For a little business where three of us work, I can't do it even if I wanted to do it."

"We've endured lockdown and we're trying to get back on our feet, but here's a charge which is going to hit every member of the community."

As for the size of the scheme, he suggested it would be sensible to limit it to the city centre.

He said: "If it needs it, do it, but do it sensibly."

"What on earth is the top of the Pennines doing in the Clean Air Zone?"

According to the business boss, the demonstration on Sunday received a positive reception until Greater Manchester Police (GMP) intervened at around Prestwich.

He explained people were honking their horns in support, and even standing on motorway bridges with signs, before officers pulled over a number of the protestors.

He said: "There was a rude and surly policeman who walked to the front of the line and started walking back down it."

"I wound my window down to listen to what he was saying and he said: 'It's an offence to stop on the hard shoulder'.

"Then he was reading a registration number out to someone on his radio.

"He came and said the same to me."

But the risk of a ticket is not enough to deter the business boss, who said he would demonstrate again.

He added: "If it succeeds, that's marvellous, but if it doesn't, I've a clear conscience."

The GMCA and GMP declined to comment on the demonstration, although the GMCA drew attention to a statement issued last week by Andy Burnham and Clean Air lead Cllr Andrew Western saying the Clean Air Zone is up for review at meetings this week and later in the month.