Birmingham to introduce congestion charge
A new Clean Air Zone will be introduced in the city centre by 2020 in an attempt to reduce the high levels of air pollution.
Birmingham City Council has announced plans to introduce a congestion charge in the busy city centre by 2020 in a bid to tackle their dangerously high-levels of air pollution.
This new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will cover every road within the city centre, including those around both the popular Bullring Shopping Centre and Arena Birmingham concert venue, and up to but not including the A4540 middle ring road.
Motorists whose cars fall below the Euro 4 petrol standard or Euro 6 diesel standard, which is mostly those registered before about 2006 and 2015 respectively, will be required to pay between £6 and £10 upon entering the zone.
HGVs and other similar weight vehicles however would face a much higher charge, potentially up to £100 a day.
The council has also not ruled out the inclusion of motorbikes in its plans.
Based on data recorded in 2016, it’s estimated that about half of all of the city’s cars will be subject to the charges.
This new plan comes after the European Commission issued a final warning to the UK government back in January over repeated breaches of air quality limits in 16 areas, with Birmingham being one of the worst offenders.
Other measures, like a scheme to improve public transport links, will be introduced alongside the congestion charge in a bid to fix the issue.
“Over the last few years, the damaging health effects of air pollution have been laid bare; we know it’s linked to lung cancer, respiratory disease, stroke and heart disease,” said Alison Cook, policy director at the British Lung Foundation.
“Now it’s time to act. Introducing charging clean air zones is the most effective way to tackle dirty air, and so we’re pleased to see this proposal in Birmingham’s clean air plans.”