Birmingham City Council has written to ministers requesting the launch of its clean air zone is delayed as it deals with the coronavirus crisis.
The impact of COVID-19 on businesses has meant that their current focus is on trying to support employees rather than upgrade vehicle fleets.
The council has therefore requested to delay the launch of the zone until at least the end of the calendar year, to be kept under constant review in conjunction with the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “The current situation has meant we need to make changes to our original plans.
“COVID-19 is having a profound impact on the economy of the city and our preparations for the clean air zone.
“However, air pollution remains an on-going concern for this city. Once we have addressed coronavirus in the immediate term, poor air quality will continue to be a significant issue in the long term, and we should not be complacent.
“We believe that a clean air zone in Birmingham remains the most effective way of making a sustainable improvement to Birmingham’s air quality and we will continue to put in place the infrastructure required to support it.”
Problems with the Government's new online vehicle checker had already delayed Birmingham’s plans, with the scheme not expected to be launched until July, at the earliest.
Further information on Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone can be found on its dedicated website.