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Birmingham Council launches new air quality action plan

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Birmingham City Council has approved a new air quality action plan for public consultation.

It includes a Class D Clean Air Zone (CAZ) along with other measures to improve air quality across the city.

Birmingham was meant to introduce a CAZ last year, along with Leeds, but both have been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Air Quality Action Plan sets out how Birmingham City Council will improve air quality between 2020 and 2025.

It replaces the existing action plan, which was launched in 2011, and sets out seven key actions points to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions across Birmingham:

  • Implement CAZ and mitigation measures
  • Support and implement strategic transport improvements
  • Promote behaviour change away from single occupancy private vehicle use
  • Promote the use of alternatively fuelled vehicles
  • When locations are identified as having an exceedance of the air quality objectives, assess traffic management options relevant to the location
  • Develop policies to support better air quality
  • Control industrial and domestic emissions

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for Transport and the Environment, said: “The Clean Air Zone, which will launch in 2021, focuses on tackling air pollution in the city centre where nitrogen dioxide levels are at their highest but there is more to Birmingham than the inner ring road. This plan will help to identify locations outside the centre to make sure the whole of Birmingham – including its suburbs and residential areas – has safe and legal levels of nitrogen dioxide.”

The plan prioritises identifying locations outside the Clean Air Zone with persistently high nitrogen dioxide levels; reducing emissions from road transport - particularly diesel - and ensuring other sources of air pollution, including industrial and domestic, are controlled through planning policies and determination.

In addition to the Clean Air Zone, the action plan looks at implementing strategic transport improvements; such as promoting alternatively fuelled vehicles and discouraging single person journeys in private vehicles.

It also promotes developing policies to support better air quality; including controlling industrial and domestic emissions and assessing traffic management in areas exceeding air quality.

Until the consultation starts, the draft plan is available to read on the Birmingham City Council website.

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