Skip advert
Advertisement

Birmingham clean air zone launches with 100,000 drivers affected

Motoring organisations warn many drivers of non-compliant vehicles in Birmingham won’t be able to afford to upgrade to a newer, cleaner model

Exhaust

Birmingham’s clean air zone scheme is now in operation, with drivers of pre-Euro 4 petrol and pre-Euro 6 diesel cars being charged £8 per day to drive within the bounds of the A4540 Middleway Ring Road.

The latest Department for Transport figures show there are 408,400 registered cars in Birmingham, of which 93,932 are non-compliant with the new clean air zone. Further research by councils found that around 23 per cent of cars travelling into the zone in 2020 would be liable to pay the £8 charge.

The zone - which was introduced with a two-week grace period for payments - includes some of Birmingham’s most economically deprived neighbourhoods, with a public consultation showing that 44 per cent of those living within it would be charged to drive their main car.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Data from an AA Populus survey shows that 37 per cent of non-compliant car owners in London - which is expanding its ultra-low emission zone in October - and Birmingham wouldn’t be able to afford to upgrade their vehicle, while a further 11 per cent could, but would face severe financial difficulties as a result.

Birmingham has a higher proportion of drivers unable to afford the upgrade. Local demographics especially affected include young people and low-skilled workers.

Edmund King, president of the AA, described low emission zones as “very blunt tools that create a tax burden for low-income families and workers”.

He added: “These drivers are least able to afford to replace the vehicles they depend on for work, often night shifts, and sometimes emergencies such as going to hospital or health care centres. They are also the ones least able to pay the fines.”

The AA has proposed various alternatives and additions to clean air zones. These include a “rapid and massive expansion” of park and ride facilities, a first-time warning instead of a fine for those who accidentally drive a non-compliant car into the zone, and the removal of VAT on new electric vehicle sales.

Do you think Birmingham's clean air zone scheme is a good idea? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind
Dacia Duster - tailgate
News

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind

The value brand’s new warranty is also available on used cars, as well as for existing Dacia customers
16 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month
Mercedes EQC - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month

Mercedes’s EQC showed that the German firm was serious about electric cars and it’s our Car Deal of the Day for Monday 15 April
15 Apr 2024
New 2024 Audi A3 takes the fight to BMW and Mercedes with £32k price tag
Audi A3 Saloon - front action
News

New 2024 Audi A3 takes the fight to BMW and Mercedes with £32k price tag

The updated Audi A3 is available now, with the hot S3 version due from May
16 Apr 2024