Mark Whitehead 14 March 2019

Birmingham faces 'major public health crisis’, council warns

Birmingham City Council has been given the go-ahead to introduce a clean air zone to tackle what it has called a 'major public health crisis'.

The council submitted its plans to the Government last month after being told it must impose strict air quality limits as quickly as possible.

Dr Therese Coffey, parliamentary under-secretary of state for the environment, has now approved the proposals for a Class D charging Clean Air Zone and a package of additional measures.

The Government has also allocated £14.2m for signs, cameras and other infrastructure, and £38m from the clean air fund to support a package of measures to support businesses and individuals likely to be impacted.

The council is offering a range of exemptions to allow eligible businesses and individuals more time to switch to compliant vehicles.

Waseem Zaffar, the council's cabinet member for transport and environment, said: 'We clearly have a major public health crisis in our city, with people being exposed to illegal and unsafe levels of air pollution.

'The introduction of a clean air zone is the start of our fight back.

'I welcome this announcement from the Government, which gives approval to the plans we have put forward to bring air pollution levels down to legal limits.'

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