Some­thing in the air –

Birm­ing­ham is set to in­tro­duce a Clean Air Zone in Jan­uary 2020 which will see driv­ers of pri­vate and com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles with older en­gines pay a fee to use city cen­tre roads. Bosses with com­pany fleets are be­ing urged to think now about how they will op

Birmingham Post - - BIRMINGHAM CLEAN AIR ZONE - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

aren’t even aware of it. We will do what­ever we can to en­gage and sup­port them through this change.

“The only way we can get to legally com­pli­ant lev­els of pol­lu­tion is to go for a worst-case sce­nario which is to charge every type of ve­hi­cle other than mo­tor­bikes.

“But even that won’t get us to the com­pli­ant level the Govern­ment wants, which is why we have ad­di­tional mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures we want to in­tro­duce.

“We have asked the Govern­ment to sup­port us with £36 mil­lion to in­tro­duce these mea­sures and, if we don’t get that sup­port, we will have to re­view this pol­icy.

“Get­ting legally com­pli­ant is where we start, not where we fin­ish – that’s a short-term as­pi­ra­tion but get­ting to safe lev­els of pol­lu­tion is where we need to be.” “There is an ac­cep­tance among the busi­ness com­mu­nity this is a good thing.

“We recog­nise there are clear ben­e­fits to hav­ing cleaner air such as a health­ier and more pro­duc­tive work­force and mak­ing the city a bet­ter place to be.

“But it won’t sur­prise any­one there are lots of con­cerns about this as well. It is un­der 400 days un­til this is im­ple­mented – are we ready for this?

“While ac­cept­ing the time frame is go­ing to hap­pen, we have con­tin­ued to chal­lenge the im­ple­men­ta­tion date to en­sure the un­in­tended con­se­quences are as few as pos­si­ble.

“What it’s go­ing to cost is a big ques­tion for busi­nesses and an­other is­sue is com­pli­ance.

“What hap­pens if a com­pany changes its whole fleet to be com­pli­ant with emis­sions stan­dards and then in 12 months’ time the laws change?

“Are we go­ing to put our­selves at a dis­ad­van­tage when neigh­bour­ing cities like Coven­try don’t have a Clean Air Zone?

“There is a lot more work to be done but ev­ery­one is keen that, when we start this in Birm­ing­ham, we do it in the best pos­si­ble way so we can have the best of both worlds.

“We can get cleaner air with­out hav­ing a neg­a­tive ef­fect on our busi­nesses.”

It is un­der 400 days un­til this is im­ple­mented – are we ready for this? Paul Faulkner

“Re­search by the Bri­tish Ve­hi­cle

> The pro­posed Clean Air Zone within Birm­ing­ham’s mid­dle ring road

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