Birmingham seeks to introduce ‘congestion charge’

08.12 | 22 June | | 0 comment

Image: Birmingham City Council via Flickr

Birmingham City Council has unveiled plans to introduce a Clean Air Zone in the city centre by 2020.

Under the plans, announced on 19 June, car drivers entering the proposed Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will have to pay between £6 and £10 if their vehicle falls below the Euro 4 petrol and Euro 6 diesel standards.

However, the cost could rise to as high as £100 a day for HGVs and some other heavy vehicles.

The proposed CAZ will cover all roads within Birmingham city centre, including the Bullring Shopping Centre and Arena Birmingham music venue. The A4540 middle ring road will be outside the chargeable zone.

According to RAC News, the move comes as Birmingham faces a 2020 deadline to introduce measures to tackle poor air quality in the city – or face a potential fine of £60 million.

The council cabinet will now discuss the planned congestion charge and other proposals at a meeting on 26 June. If agreed, the measures will go out to a public consultation, before the council submits its case to Government in September.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “Clean air is a basic human right and yet poor air quality is responsible for hundreds of early deaths in Birmingham each year.

“This is completely unacceptable and we cannot allow it to continue, which is why we are now looking to consult on plans for a Clean Air Zone in the city.

“The biggest cause of air pollution is road transport, particularly diesel vehicles, so we need to take action to discourage the most polluting vehicles from entering the worst-hit parts of the city.”

Elsewhere, Birmingham City Council is drawing up plans for a new scheme to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, after successfully bidding for £1.3m of Government funding.

The grant, which will be further boosted by a £200k contribution from the council, will be used to implement new safety measures at the junction of Pershore Road and Priory Road in the Edgbaston area of the city.


 

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