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Drivers of polluting vehicles who travel through the city centre will be made to pay the charge unless they switch to a cleaner car. Councillors have finally confirmed the new scheme will come into force on June 1 next year after a series of previous delays pushed back its introduction.
The new charge will cover all roads inside the inner A4540 Middleway ring road in a bid to tackle air pollution levels.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for Transport and the Environment says the new zone is “government-mandated” after poor pollution rates remained a “health risk”.
Mr Zaffar also revealed that the majority of road users “will not need to pay the daily charge”.
But Birmingham City Council has warned that around a quarter of vehicles on Birmingham’s roads are currently non-compliant with the scheme.
Mr Zaffar added that those who own a polluting vehicle “may be eligible for an exemption” or extra financial packages.
He said: “We have been working closely with officials at the Joint Air Quality Unit and ministers to agree a new launch date for the government-mandated Clean Air Zone.
“Poor air quality remains a public health risk and a Clean Air Zone provides the city with an effective tool for tackling this issue in the shortest possible time.
“The majority of drivers on Birmingham’s roads will not need to pay the daily charge but if you do then you may be eligible for an exemption or one of the financial incentives.
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“So, I would encourage everyone to check the Brum Breathes website today.
“And everyone can still play a role in improving the air we all breathe by trying to reduce the number of shorter journeys we make by car every day.”
Charges will be applied daily and could see thousands of residents forced to pay up to £56 per week to use their vehicle.
The £8 fee will apply when a highly polluting vehicle enters the Clean Air Zone at least once during a 24 hour period.
Buses and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) will face a higher £50 charge for using roads inside the exclusion zone.
Birmingham Council has confirmed the system will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when it is launched.
The Council has also confirmed that £35million worth of financial incentives will be made available.
This will be used to support businesses, residents and city workers to adjust to the new changes.
The council has confirmed that applications for financial incentives and exemptions to the charge are now open for consideration.
The scheme was set to launch earlier this year but problems with the council’s vehicle checker software and then the coronavirus pandemic pushed this back.
The scheme will be one of the first cities outside of London with Bath also set to introduce a similar project in March.
The Birmingham proposals are part of a wider plan which could see all private vehicles banned from the city centre by 2031.
A UK based petrol and diesel car ban is also being looked into by the government who are considering bringing the scheme forward to 2030.
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