Birmingham City Council has published its final proposals for a clean air zone from 2020, including announcing the final proposed charging levels.
The city was one of five – also including Nottingham, Derby, Leeds and Southampton – that were identified under the Government’s 2015 air quality plan as requiring action, and announced this summer that it was proposing a ‘Class D’ clean air zone that would see drivers of non-Euro 6 compliant diesels and non-Euro 4 compliant petrol vehicles face charges on all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road.
The plans were submitted to Defra in September and the council has now set out the full business case, including outlining its proposed charges for non-compliant vehicles, which stand at £8 per day for private cars, taxis (both Hackney carriages and private hire) and vans, while HGVs, coaches and buses will be charged £50 per day.
The document also updates the mitigations and exemptions first proposed by the council in September to support those most likely to be impacted by the proposals, following detailed assessments of each of the measures. Individuals who work within the Clean Air Zone and earn £30,000 or less per year will be eligible for these measures, while for those living outside the Clean Air Zone area the upper limit is set at £20,000.
These mitigations are dependent on funding from the Government, so the Cabinet is also being asked to approve the submission of a bid for £68.7m, comprising £17.8m from the Implementation Fund for the delivery of signs, cameras and other infrastructure, and £50.8 million from the Clean Air Fund for the mitigation measures.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham is on a journey to cleaner air and the submission of this Full Business Case is a hugely significant step forward on that journey.
“We are under no illusions that air pollution represents a major public health crisis in Birmingham, so we have worked long and hard to put together proposals for the Clean Air Zone that we believe is required to deliver long-term health benefits to the city.
“At the same time, we fully recognise that these proposals will impact on individuals and businesses across the city and the wider West Midlands area, so we are now calling on the Government to provide the funding needed to help us support these people.
“However, it is important to remember that a Clean Air Zone is just part of a much bigger picture. We all have a part to play and, as a city, we need to continue working together to ensure that our children, their children and future generations to come have access to clean air in our city.
“Thousands of individuals and businesses engaged with us on this issue during our consultation in the summer, for which we are grateful, but that was only the beginning of a much bigger conversation we want to continue having, not just in the run-up to the Clean Air Zone being introduced but in the long-term too.”
The Cabinet report, Full Business Case and associated documents can be found here.