Birmingham City Council's Clean Air Zone launched

Birmingham’s City Council’s Clean Air Zone has been launched in a move hoped to improve the city’s air quality.

Non-harmful Smoke was emitted from the viewing platform and roof of the Library of Birmingham, representing the average amount of NOx that will be saved every 10 seconds through the introduction of the Clean Air Zone.

The zone is located within the A4540 Middleway (but not the Middleway itself) and will be used to encourage drivers of the most polluting vehicles to upgrade or replace their vehicle.

People are also being encouraged to think about walking, cycling or using public transport more, especially for shorter journeys.

The council will encourage this change by applying a daily fee to vehicles that do not meet the emission standards for the zone.

Birmingham City Council announced that it will introduce the zone through a ‘soft launch’ of the scheme, as from 1 June through to 23:59:59 on 13 June, the authority will not require drivers to pay the daily fee and will not pursue enforcement.

From 14 June, owners of non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay the daily fee, unless a valid exemption is in place.

If they do not pay the daily fee after this date, the registered keeper of the vehicle will be issued with a penalty charge notice.

By adopting this approach, the council said it is providing people with extra time to get ready, review the support available and to consider the alternatives to driving through the Clean Air Zone.

Commenting, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE said:

"After more than two years of planning, I'm delighted to launch Birmingham's Clean Air Zone.

“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 rethink 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.

“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."

Cars, taxis and LGVs which do not meet the Clean Air Zone emission standard will be charged £8 per day and non-compliant coaches, buses and HGVs will be charged £50 a day.

The Clean Air Zone charge runs from midnight to midnight and drivers can pay six days in advance of their visit, the day of their visit and six days after this, giving a total payment window of 13 days.

A range of support measures have been brought in to support those immediately impacted by the changes.

This includes temporary exemption permits and financial incentives, as well as the Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV) Fund.

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