• Friday, June 09, 2023

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Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone charging of vehicles begins

The new restrictions have been designed to curb pollution level in city centres. (iStock Image)

By: Sattwik Biswal

BIRMINGHAM’S Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was officially launched on June 1 and drivers of a vehicle not meeting emission standards will be charged with a fee.

However, there was a two-week delay to charges as time was given for motorists to adjust to the new rule.

BBC reports that the daily charge for vehicles that do not meet standards is £8 for cars, vans and taxis, or £50 for HGVs and coaches, unless a valid exemption is in place.

The zone is enforced using Automatic Number Plate Recognition, which records the registration plates of vehicles travelling within the ring road. Anyone who fails to pay within six days after entering the zone would face a £120 fine.

“The Clean Air Zone will help us to address the single biggest environmental risk to public health and I have been clear from the beginning of the scheme that we wanted to make its introduction fair and reasonable,” Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, was quoted as saying.

About 75 per cent of cars will not be charged a fee, but drivers were urged to check their vehicles online before travelling.

The local authority of Birmingham had previously said air pollution contributed to 900 premature deaths a year in the city and it faced a £60m fine if it failed to implement the zone.

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