Car tax changes to launch next year as council looks to offset ‘significant’ vehicle costs

'Clean air zone' plans mean diesel drivers could face charges

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Sheffield is the latest city to formally announce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which is set to launch in late 2022. The zone will encompass most of Sheffield city centre and will charge a number of different vehicles.

Under the plans, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will face a daily charge of £50.

Vans, minibuses, private hire taxis and hackney carriages will pay £10 when the zone is implemented around the inner ring road.

Sheffield City Council are not planning to charge private cars entering the city centre. 

They say private cars make up 80 percent of road traffic but only 50 percent of the pollution.

In comparison, the council says: “Buses, HGVs and taxis are responsible for half of our air pollution but only make up 20 percent of traffic.

“By focusing on them we can reduce air pollution as quickly as possible.

“Air pollution contributes to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield. The harm done includes lung cancer and cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

Automatic number plate recognition cameras will catch vehicles, but private drivers are exempt.

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The local bus companies, First Bus and Stagecoach, say they are confident their buses will be compliant before the zone is introduced.

In order to avoid the charge, taxi and van drivers will need to have Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol engines.

Tom Finnegan-Smith, head of strategic transport at Sheffield Council, said: “The cost of these vehicles is significant, particularly given the limited second-hand market, and production was adversely impacted because of the pandemic.

“The implications of moving to an ultra-low emission compliance standard for taxis at this time would be too onerous.

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