The Chamberlain Files | Homepage
Dirty diesel vehicles face pollution charge to enter Birmingham clean air zone

Dirty diesel vehicles face pollution charge to enter Birmingham clean air zone

🕔17.Dec 2015

Diesel-powered buses, coaches, taxis and lorries that fail to meet the latest environmental standards will have to pay a charge to enter a Birmingham city centre by 2020.

Environment Secretary Liz Truss announced today that the worst polluting vehicles will be “discouraged” from entering five new clean air zones covering the central core of Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby.

She said the move would improve air quality and help the UK meet European environmental regulations.

Mrs Truss stressed newer vehicles that meet the latest emissions standards will not need to pay and no private car will have to pay. The council will be given funding to set up and run the clean air zone.

She added that Birmingham city council, which will police the clean air zone, will have to set charges “at levels designed to reduce pollution, not to raise revenue beyond recovering the costs of the scheme”.

The council has estimated it can save £5 million a year in ‘fines’ that it currently pays to the Government because air pollution levels in Birmingham city centre are too high. It is drawing up an extensive communications plan to discourage cars as well as lorries from entering the city centre, although talk of a congestion charge has been dismissed by council leader John Clancy.

The Environment Secretary said:

Under this Plan, by 2020 the most polluting diesel vehicles – old polluting buses, coaches, taxis and lorries – will be discouraged from entering the centres of Birmingham, Leeds, Southampton, Nottingham and Derby.

Newer vehicles that meet the latest emission standards, and private cars, will be unaffected.

Over recent decades, air quality has improved significantly. Between 2005 and 2013 emissions of nitrogen oxides have fallen by 38 per cent and particulate matter has reduced by more than 16 per cent.

Over the past five years the Government has committed over £2 billion to help bus operators upgrade their fleets, reduce pollution from a range of vehicles such as refuse trucks and fire engines through cutting edge technologies, and promote the development of clean alternative fuels such as powering taxis with liquid petroleum gas in Birmingham.

Mrs Truss said it was important to bring the UK into legal compliance and to reduce concentrations of nitrogen dioxide below 40 µg/m3. Similar zones in Germany and Denmark have been shown to improve air quality, she added.

As well as discouraging old polluting diesel vans, Birmingham and Leeds will implement other measures including new park and ride schemes, improved signage, changes in road layouts and provision of infrastructure for alternative fuels.

According to the Government, many companies have already started to update their fleets to modern, cleaner vehicles. By 2017 British Gas will have replaced at least 10 per cent of its commercial fleet with electric vehicles, reducing emissions compared to their old diesel vans.

The new electric vans also represent a saving over their diesel counterparts. In London the cost savings could be as high as 20 per cent, with other locations saving between 6-10 per cent.

Mrs Truss added:

One of the main reasons our cities continue to face air quality problems is the failure of diesel vehicles to deliver expected emission reductions in real world driving conditions.

We have recently secured agreement in the EU to introduce more stringent emissions testing across the EU, ensuring that vehicles live up to their low emission credentials. Our Plans fully factor in current car performance and future performance standards following this agreement.

Similar Articles

Clearing the air

Clearing the air 0

Last week, Mayor Andy Street highlighted air quality as one of the issues which needs

PwC boss takes chair at Growth Company

PwC boss takes chair at Growth Company 0

The West Midlands Growth Company, the organisation charged with attracting new businesses and investment to

Commissions: will resources follow recommendations?

Commissions: will resources follow recommendations? 0

It is commission reporting season, apparently. Hilary Smyth-Allen, Executive Director of BPS Birmingham, looks at

Street on Trump: distasteful and disrespectful

Street on Trump: distasteful and disrespectful 0

Donald Trump and Andy Street came to their respective elected offices less than four months

Devolution: dead or default?

Devolution: dead or default? 0

Two seemingly opposite but not mutually exclusive diagnoses of the state of devolution emerged from

About Author

Chamberlain Files Weekly

Don't miss a thing! Sign up for our free weekly summary of the Chamberlain Files from RJF Public Affairs.
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!

Our latest tweets

Published by

Published by


Our community