Birmingham City Council’s Clean Air Zone will give businesses valuable time to clean up their fleets, while guaranteeing air quality improvements.
Set to come into effect from next January, the Clean Air Zone will cover all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road; all vehicles that do not meet the engine emission standards set nationally will incur charges to enter this area.
Any vans, private cars or taxis that are non-compliant will be charged £8 each day.
However, for businesses, fleet operators and public transport operators, the penalties are more severe; if these vehicles are non-compliant and emit harmful emissions, the charge will be £50 each day.
The actions of Birmingham City Council follow the type of initiatives that the likes of London and Cardiff councils are following – trying to simultaneously reduce emissions, as per the Road to Zero strategy, while also helping to clean up harmful air.
One of the largest trade associations in the UK, the Freight Transport Association (FTA), has welcomed the intervention of Birmingham City Council, which, it believes, has balanced out responsibility for cleaning up emissions.
Chris Yarsley, Policy Manager for the Midlands at the FTA, said: “FTA is also pleased that the council has refrained from placing the responsibility for improving air quality solely on the shoulders of businesses, when drivers of all types of vehicles – for both private and commercial use – must play their part; it is refreshing to see private cars also included in the Zone.”
The Clean Air Zone plan developed is thanks to the council listening to the needs of the business community.
It will mean an improvement of air quality without costing small businesses their livelihoods, according to the FTA.
Importantly, there is a one-year exemption for immediate fleet upgrades, giving businesses time to prepare to ensure they can fund necessary improvements.