Birmingham City Council has launched its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) today, June 1, which requires drivers of older cars, vans and trucks to pay a daily fee to enter the city’s centre.
The Class D CAZ applies to all vehicles that do not meet the minimum emissions standards of Euro 6 for diesel and Euro 4 for petrol.
Restrictions apply to all roads within Birmingham’s A4540 Middleway Ring Road, except the ring road itself. The CAZ is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including bank holidays.
The council confirmed that it will introduce the zone through a ‘soft launch’. The council will not require drivers to pay the daily fee and they will not pursue enforcement until June 14, 2021.
Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE has said: "After more than two years of planning, I'm delighted to launch Birmingham's Clean Air Zone. This is a bold move that will help to address some significant health inequalities in our city. This is also an important step in encouraging people to re-think how we all move around the city.”
It is estimated that 40% of vehicles entering the zone each day will not be compliant. Cars, vans and taxis will face an £8 charge, while HGVs, buses and coaches will have to pay £50 per day.
Birmingham’s CAZ is the second to be launched this year, following Bath, but zones are also imminent in Bristol, Bradford, Portsmouth, Greater Manchester, Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside.
The zone’s introduction was delayed by more than a year, first by a Government systems issue and then by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ahead of the launch, Birmingham City Council introduced a vehicle scrappage and travel credit scheme.
The £10 million package aims to support people working in the city’s clean air zone, and who earn less than £30,000 per year, with the option of scrapping a vehicle that would otherwise be subject to the daily fee.
In return for scrapping a vehicle, successful applicants will receive a £2,000 grant which can be used on a ‘travel credit’ or to purchase a vehicle that meets the emission standards of the new CAZ.
BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said; “Our rental and leasing members are a good option for someone who regularly travels through a Clean Air Zone. They have a huge variety of CAZ-compliant vehicles that are available on a flexible and fixed-cost basis.
“They are already helping tens of thousands of businesses and individuals make the leap to fully zero-emission motoring and can provide electric vehicles and charging solutions to meet every need.”
ClientEarth lawyer Katie Nield said: “Dirty air has been putting people in serious danger for too long. A Clean Air Zone in Birmingham is a major step forward in tackling the region’s toxic air problem and making the city a healthier and better place to live.”
To find out more about current and upcoming CAZs, visit the Fleet News Clean Air Zone checker: https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/fleet-faq/what-are-the-proposed-uk-clean-air-zones-caz.