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City leaders urge funding for national ‘Class D’ CAZ network

UK majors and city leaders are urging the Government and the private sector to provide £1.5bn in funding for a national network of 30 ‘Class D’ Clean Air Zones (CAZs) that would include charges on private cars as well as commercial vehicles.

Birmingham is planning a Class D Clean Air Zone

Although the Government has made £220m of spending available under the current CAF over the period 2018/19-2020/21 for CAZs, the UK100 group is seeking Government support for an enhanced CAF, including for London which has historically been excluded from the CAF. The enhanced funding would enable the delivery of CAZs across the UK and support a national fleet renewal programme to deliver WHO air quality standards.

A report carried out by consultants at CEPA for UK100 finds such a CAZ network could see an economic return of £6.5bn if cars were included: as private cars often account for a large proportion of NO2 in the air (e.g. 40% in Bristol), their inclusion in CAZ restrictions often strengthens the strategic (and economic) case for such zones.

Such a CAZ network could see an economic return of £6.5bn if cars were included: as private cars often account for a large proportion of NO2 in the air (e.g. 40% in Bristol), their inclusion in CAZ restrictions often strengthens the strategic (and economic) case for such zones.

And, where cities are struggling to achieve residents’ support for including certain types of vehicles in the CAZ, a Clean Air Fund can play an important role in mitigating the negative impact of the CAZ while assisting groups who might otherwise find it difficult to achieve compliance.

Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: “Cleaning up the air in our towns and cities makes sound economic sense and this study demonstrates that. It will boost the health of our communities and save the NHS money. Sensible investment by national government is needed to support local authorities to take the most polluting vehicles off our roads while ensuring that the poorest in our towns and cities are not the hardest hit by pollution and measures to tackle it.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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