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Birmingham’s journey to cleaner air takes its next step forward

Councillor Waseem Zaffar and Councillor Ian Ward stand outside the Library of Birmingham for the launch of the Clean Air Zone
Published: Tuesday, 1st June 2021

Today (1 June 2021) marked the launch of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone with a colourful exhibition at Library of Birmingham.

Smoke was emitted from the viewing platform and roof of the iconic Library of Birmingham building, representing the average amount of NOx that will be saved every 10 seconds through the introduction of the Clean Air Zone.

The Clean Air Zone is within the A4540 Middleway (but not the Middleway itself) and will be used to encourage the drivers of the most polluting vehicles to upgrade or replace their vehicle.People are also being encouraged to think about walking, cycling or using public transport more – especially for shorter journeys.And it will encourage this change by applying a daily fee to vehicles that do not meet the emission standards for the zone.

Birmingham City Council announced that it will introduce the zone through a ‘soft launch’ of the scheme. From 1 June 2021 through to 11:59pm 13 June 2021 the council will not require drivers to pay the daily fee and they will not pursue enforcement. From the 14 June 2021 the owners of non-compliant vehicles will be required to pay the daily fee (unless a valid exemption is in place).If they do not pay the daily fee after this date the registered keeper of the vehicle will be issued with a penalty charge notice.By adopting this approach the council is providing with a little extra time to get ready, review the support available and to consider the alternatives to driving through the Clean Air Zone

Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE has said: "After more than two years of planning, I'm delighted to launch Birmingham's Clean Air Zone. This is a bold move that will help to address some significant health inequalities in our city. This is also an important step in encouraging people to re-think how we all move around the city.

“I'm confident that this initiative will save lives, and provide a cleaner, greener, safer space for our communities in a part of our city that has a problem with poor air quality.

“Whilst we have agreed on a two-week soft launch period where people won't have to pay, I would encourage everyone to use this time to check their vehicles, familiarise themselves with the charging process and check out the support that is still available through the Brum Breathes website."

Cars, taxis and LGVs which do not meet the Clean Air Zone emission standard will be charged £8 a day and non-compliant coaches, buses and HGVs will be charged £50 per day.

The Clean Air Zone charge runs midnight to midnight. Drivers can pay six days in advance of their visit, the day of their visit and six days after the day of their visit, giving a total payment window of 13 days. Payments can be paid online using the Government's payment system or over the phone by calling 0300 029 8888 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm).

A range of support measures have been brought in to support those immediately impacted by the changes.. This includes temporary exemption permits and financial incentives as well as the Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV Fund).

The council recently launched a short film on clean air and why the zone is needed.

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