Chris Ames 02 June 2021

Charges for Birmingham's Clean Air Zone delayed for two weeks

Charges for Birminghams Clean Air Zone delayed for two weeks image

Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) finally went live on Monday, but with a two-week ‘soft launch period’ where no charges will be levied.

The CAZ was originally scheduled to go live last year, but was postponed in response to the impact of Covid-19.

It will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year within the A4540 Middleway (but not the Middleway itself) applying a daily fee to vehicles that do not meet the emission standards for the zone.

Birmingham City Council said it will be used to encourage the drivers of the most polluting vehicles to upgrade or replace their vehicle and that people are being encouraged to think about walking, cycling or using public transport more – especially for shorter journeys.

Under the ‘soft launch’ of the scheme the council will not require drivers to pay the daily fee until midnight on 13 June and will not pursue enforcement. The council said it is providing ‘a little extra time to get ready, review the support available and to consider the alternatives’.

From 14 June owners of non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay the daily fee, unless a valid exemption is in place, or be issued with a penalty charge notice. Cars, taxis and LGVs will be charged £8 a day and coaches, buses and HGVs will be charged £50 per day.

Waseem Zaffar MBE (pictured), cabinet member for transport and environment, said: ‘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.

‘I'm confident that this initiative will save lives, and provide a cleaner, greener, safer space for our communities in a part of our city that has a problem with poor air quality.’

He added: ‘Whilst we have agreed on a two-week soft launch period where people won't have to pay, I would encourage everyone to use this time to check their vehicles, familiarise themselves with the charging process and check out the support that is still available through the Brum Breathes website.’

The AA noted that while a CAZ was recently introduced in Bath, it will not charge the owners of private vehicles.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘Poor air quality is a threat that the majority of drivers agree needs to be addressed and reduced; in due course electric vehicles will largely eradicate those emissions.

‘However, the car CAZs in Bristol and Birmingham and the extended ULEZ in London are very blunt tools that create a tax burden for low-income families and workers.’

This article was first published on Highways magazine.

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Commissioning Support Officer - MH & LD

Camden London Borough Council
£30,893 - £35,488
This role will primarily focus on supporting the commissioning team to develop and monitor mental health and learning disability services, as... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Travel Options Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£37,638 - £43,659 per annum
The role will work closely with internal and external stakeholders in developing Travel Options, policies, and procedures with... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Forensic Senior Social Worker

Suffolk County Council
£33,782 - £39,759 per annum *plus £2,772 per annum AMHP Honorarium
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the joint Suffolk County Council (SCC) and Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) as... Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Adult Senior Social Worker (Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism)

Suffolk County Council
£33,782 - £39,759 pro rata
Do you want to join a thriving, enthusiastic and creative service? Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Adult Social Worker (Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism)

Suffolk County Council
£30,451 - £33,782 pro rata
 We are looking to recruit social workers, who have a strong commitment to supporting their local communities and... Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue