No clean-air zone for clas­sics

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Tom Sey­mour

Birm­ing­ham has ruled out clas­sic cars be­ing tar­geted by a clean air zone due to be in place in the city by 2020.

A spokesman for the new mayor of West Mid­lands, Andy Street, says that the cur­rent plans are fo­cus­ing on com­mer­cial trucks and ve­hi­cles.

He says: ‘Un­less it’s a clas­sic bus or truck, it won’t count. Pri­vate cars aren’t in­cluded [in the plans] at all.’

The re­gion is one of six new com­bined English authorities al­lowed to in­tro­duce their own ur­ban air qual­ity strate­gies.

Es­ti­mates from the Depart­ment for En­vi­ron­ment, Food and Rural Af­fairs (DEFRA) show that Birm­ing­ham will have NO2 lev­els above the le­gal limit (40 mi­cro­grams per cu­bic me­tre) un­til 2027 if emis­sion lev­els aren’t ad­dressed.

The like­li­hood of Manch­ester, Bris­tol and Mid­dles­brough bring­ing in mea­sures to im­prove air qual­ity is high as each will have ‘il­le­gal air’ for the next three years.

The Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs has al­ready suc­cess­fully cam­paigned for an ex­emp­tion for clas­sics built be­fore 1 Jan­uary 1980 from Lon­don’s ul­tra low emis­sions zone.

CCW ap­proached may­ors from Greater Manch­ester, Tees Val­ley and West of Eng­land for com­ment, but only Liver­pool City Re­gion’s Steve Rotheram re­sponded.

He said a de­ci­sion couldn’t be made on what would and wouldn’t be in­cluded in a fu­ture clean air zone un­til more re­search has been done on the key causes and ar­eas af­fected.

Birm­ing­ham will al­low clas­sic cars to skip charges in its clean air zones.

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