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Sheffield to consult on charging clean air zone

Sheffield city centre

Sheffield City Council has announced plans to create a clean air zone, including charges for vehicles using the inner ring road.

However, the council says it is not proposing to charge private cars.

After Government demanded a clean air feasibility study over high-polluting parts of Sheffield and Rotherham, residents are set to be consulted in the New Year over proposals that could see a charging system introduced on and within the inner ring road.

The charges will only apply to the most polluting vehicles such as buses, taxis, lorries and vans.

Sheffield Council is seeking Government funding to support affected businesses and taxis upgrade their vehicles.

The feasibility study’s findings suggest that a clean air zone within the inner ring road, similar to ones proposed in Leeds, Glasgow and Southampton, will be needed to bring the city’s air quality in line with legal levels by January 2021.

The charge will mean a single daily charge for older buses, coaches, taxis, HGVs and light goods vehicles (LGVs) to drive through the city.

The council will launch its consultation in early 2019 to get the views of residents, businesses, taxi drivers and bus companies on the proposed changes.

In a report released yesterday, to be considered by the cabinet on November 21, Sheffield City Council will be seeking around £40 million from government to support its activities in this area, including the installation of signs and cameras on the ring-road that will enable charges to be put in place.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for development and transport at the city council, said: “We have no desire to charge people but this issue is so serious that we have to take these actions to protect local people and save lives in Sheffield.

“Our intention is to remove the most polluting vehicles from our road network by encouraging drivers to upgrade to cleaner.”

Councillor Scott says that council will also be implementing a range of additional measures, including encouraging active travel, targeting vehicle idling, retrofitting buses and upgrading the city’s taxi fleet.

Government is set to make a decision on Sheffield early in 2019, with a further consultation set to follow before new measures are introduced the following year.

Potential charges for vehicles not meeting the latest Euro emissions standards

Vehicle Type

Proposed Charge

Buses, Coaches and HGVs

£50 a day

Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles

£10 a day

Vans / LGVs

£10 a day

 

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