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Views sought on proposed Birmingham clean air zone

02 July 2018

Birmingham businesses are being urged to have their say on plans to introduce a Clean Air Zone in the city.

Pollution in the air, caused by high levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine airborne particular matter, is seen as a key factor in contributing to 900 premature deaths in the city per year.

And Birmingham is one of five cities outside of London which has been mandated to introduce a Clean Air Zone by January 2020.

Birmingham City Council is legally bound to comply with legal air quality limits as soon as possible.

In order to achieve this, the council is pressing ahead with plans to introduce the zone in less than 18 months.

The proposed zone is set to include all roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road (but will exclude the Middleway itself).

Although no vehicle will be banned from entering or travelling through the zone, charges will apply to vehicles whose engines to do not comply with certain pollution standards.

These will include lorries, buses, coaches, vans, cars, taxis and specialist vehicles such as bin vehicles.

Cars which meet the Euro 4 petrol standard (the majority of which were created since 2006) and Euro 6 diesel (the majority of which were assembled in the last three years) will not be charged anything.

Cars outside of these parameters are likely to be charged between £6 to £12.50 per day to travel through the A4540, also referred to as the Middleway Ring Road.

Lorries, coaches and HGVs could face fines of up to £100 per day - but it is yet to be decided whether motorbikes will face the same charges.

The charge is expected to be enforced seven days a week at all times (subject to the final agreement).

Enforcement is to be carried out by automatic number plate recognition technology which will be set up along the ring road.

The council has specified that any surplus funds raised from the charging mechanism will be reinvested in public transport or other measures to cut pollution (including upgrading public transport and providing more electric car charging points).

Proposed areas which would be incorporated in the zone include:

Ashted Circus

Five Ways Island

Lawley Middleway

Ladywood Middleway

Garrison Circus

Ladywood Circus

Watery Lane Middleway

Icknield Street

Bordesley Circus

Heaton Street

Camp Hill Circus

Boulton Middleway

Highgate Middleway

New John Street West

Haden Circus

Junction with A34 Newtown Row

Belgrave Middleway

Newtown Middleway

Lee Bank Middleway

Dartmouth Circus

Islington Row Middleway

Dartmouth Middleway

The council is currently embarking on an engagement process with stakeholders across the city with a formal consultation due to open in late June.

It is holding stakeholder seminars over the summer to gauge public and private sector sentiment on the introduction of the zone.

Chamber members are being encouraged to attend the seminars to ensure their feedback and potential concerns are effectively recognised by the council.

The seminars are taking place on the following dates:

Date

Day

Time

11 July

Wednesday

08:00 – 12:30

18 July

Wednesday

13:00 – 18:00

09 August

Thursday

08:00 – 12:30

Paul Faulkner, CEO of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce said: "The introduction of a Clean Air Zone in our city represents an opportunity for stakeholders and businesses to look at the bigger picture when it comes to the problem of congestion and the health related problems that come with it.

"We are all aware that creating a healthier environment will also create a healthier and more productive workforce and the introduction of the Clean Air Zone would  be a positive step in that direction.

"However, the stark reality is that a number of companies will need help in upgrading their vehicles or face serious problems.

"It is vital that the Council provides genuine clarity on how they intend to support the most vulnerable firms along with detailed plans on how the surplus made from this charge will effectively be invested back into the city’s transport networks.

"We look forward to consulting with Birmingham City Council to ensure our members views are effectively recognised and absorbed during the six week consultation period.”

The Transport for London page on Ultra Low Emission Zone Charging provides a helpful overview of whether your vehicle would be liable to be charged in the proposed zone in Birmingham. Click here for more details.

The proposed introduction of a Clean Air Zone was covered in the GBCC congestion research paper. Click here for further details.

The full Birmingham City Council Cabinet papers on the proposed zone are available to access here.

If you would like to attend any of the stakeholder sessions, please contact Birmingham City Council on cleanair@birmingham.gov.uk

 

 

 

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