play_arrow

keyboard_arrow_right

skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
chevron_left
volume_up
chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (128k) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (64K) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (128K) More Music Variety!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (64K) The Best Variety of Hits!

UK News

Charges for drivers in Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone delayed by two weeks in ‘soft launch’

today01/06/2021

Background
share close

Charges for Birmingham’s new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) have been delayed by two weeks.

The council announced that drivers in non-compliant vehicles heading into the city would not need to pay the daily rate until 14 June as part of a “soft launch”.

The CAZ scheme was first supposed to come into force in Birmingham in 2020, but was put off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Smoke released from Birmingham Library to represent the nitrogen oxides saved by the CAZ
Image: Smoke released from Birmingham Library to represent the nitrogen oxides saved by the CAZ every 10 seconds

Cars, taxis and vans which do not meet the requirements for the CAZ will have to pay £8 per day, with the zone in force 24 hours a day, all year round.

It covers the area inside the A4540 ring road – with the region monitored by cameras, much like London’s congestion charge.

Drivers of larger vehicles which do not meet requirements, like certain coaches, buses and HGVs, face having to pay £50 a day.

A CAZ is already in effect in Bristol, and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London operates on a similar principle.

More on Air Pollution

Addressing the delay, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, Waseem Zaffar, said: “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.”

However, the Labour-run council’s actions have come under scrutiny from Conservative MPs who represent the area.

Tory MP Gary Sambrook, who represents Birmingham Northfield, said: “Thank God this lot aren’t in control of a brewery … beggars belief that Labour’s flagship policy for Birmingham stumbles on launch day.”

And Nicola Richards, Conservative MP for West Bromwich East – outside the CAZ, said: “Whilst reducing air pollution is key, taxing residents to travel into the city for work, leisure, shopping, or visiting the hospitals is simply not on.”

The AA has said that 100,000 vehicle owners will be affected by the scheme, and the company predicts younger and less well-off people will face the highest financial burden.

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 Ultra Low Emission Zone in London are very blunt tools that create a tax burden for low-income families and workers.”

Subscribe to ClimateCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Spreaker

The council is offering exemptions for residents in the CAZ, adding that such initiatives are needed for improving air quality and public health in the centre of Birmingham.

Grant schemes are also being made available for people who earn below £30,000 per year.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


Previous post

UK News

UK records hottest day of the year and it could get sunnier – despite thunderstorm threat

The UK has recorded the hottest day of the year so far - and the warm weather is set to continue despite forecasters predicting thunderstorms for parts of the country tomorrow.A scorching 25.7C (78.3F) was recorded at Heathrow Airport at 2pm on Tuesday, surpassing the 25.1C (77.2F) - the previous hottest day of the year temperature - set in Kinlochewe, Scotland, on Bank Holiday Monday. The sunny weather over the […]

today01/06/2021


Similar posts