Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone launch now tabled for 2021

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The planned new Clean Air Zone in Birmingham will not come into force until 2021 at the earliest.

The Government has confirmed the delay to introducing the new charge because of the ongoing impact of the coronavirus.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, said the Government had agreed to a request from the council to suspend the introduction of the charge until at least 2021.

He wrote to the transport and environment secretaries last month requesting the delay because of the impact covid-19 was having on the city’s preparations to introduce the charge.

The new Clean Air Zone will see certain, high-polluting vehicles charged to enter a zone approximately bordered by the A4540 ring road.

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This is the latest setback for the introduction of the controversial charge which was originally planned to launch in January this year only to be put back twice more before this latest delay.

The new charge is expected to raise around £8 million per year for the authority.

No official date has been announced yet for when it is likely to launch in 2021.

In his letter to the Government last month, Cllr Zaffar said that the spread of coronavirus was having a “profound impact on the economy of the city”.

“Businesses are focussed on trying to support their employees through an extraordinary situation rather than upgrade their vehicle fleets,” he added.

“Lower income workers and residents are focussed on ensuring they and their families stay safe rather than apply for an exemption or financial incentive.

“For these reasons we are requesting a postponement to the launch of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone.”

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