New Clean Air Zone launching today to see daily charges of £50

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From today, Monday, February 27, Sheffield will become the latest city to introduce a Clean Air Zone to help slash its emissions rates and improve the air quality in the city. The zone will cover the inner ring road and a number of buildings belonging to the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University as well as other popular areas of the city.

It is a class C chargeable zone for the most polluting large goods vehicles, vans, buses, coaches and taxis that drive within the inner ring road and city centre.

Polluting vans, LGVs and taxis will be charged £10 per day, while non-compliant coaches, buses, lorries and HGVs will see a £50 charge.

Due to the cost of living crisis, all local light-good vehicles and hackney carriage taxis will be exempt until June 5, 2023.

Payments for the CAZ need to be made online and if payments are not made within seven days, additional penalty charges may apply.

The funding from the zone can only be spent on the costs to run the zone, and projects to reduce air pollution in Sheffield.

Early notice letters were sent out at the end of last year to make drivers aware of the changes and advise them of their options.

Data from Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras was gathered in November 2022 for the purpose of identifying vehicles that would be charged when the CAZ C zone goes live.

The number plate read accuracy of the ANPR cameras is approximately 98 percent, meaning there may be a small number of people who received a letter incorrectly.

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Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Co-Chair of the Transport Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said everyone deserves to have clean air.

He said: “Protecting the health and wellbeing of current and future generations in Sheffield is a value I believe is shared across the whole of Sheffield. The Clean Air Zone is one of the ways in which the city can do its part to safeguard its future. 

“At the heart of the Clean Air Zone there is a critical mission – to reduce exposure to NO2 emissions for everyone and limit the devastating effects it can have. 

“Currently, air pollution contributes to one in 20 deaths a year in Sheffield and action must be taken.

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“As a city which prides itself on its outdoor and green spaces it is crucial we implement necessary measures to ensure it is a safe place for all. 

“We are very aware of the challenges the introduction of the Clean Air Zone poses for businesses and vehicle owners and we empathise with those affected.

“We know it may impact some financially, that’s why we worked hard to secure the best financial package we could from Government for those who need support once the changes are live.”

The Council is urging owners of non-compliant vehicles to make themselves aware of the local exemptions and financial support available.

Eligible businesses and residents may be able to apply for financial support to upgrade to cleaner vehicles. Financial support is available in the form of a grant, an interest-subsidised loan or a mix of the two.

If someone replaced a polluting vehicle after October 26, 2021, they may be eligible for a retrospective grant. This would cover a proportion of what they paid for the new cleaner vehicle, with further details on the scheme expected to be unveiled soon.

Councillor Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield Council, said: “This affects all of us. It is particularly felt by children and the vulnerable and it reduces life expectancy and causes premature death.”

He added that after years of work, Sheffield had “one of the most generous packages available” to any local authority. It is the second Clean Air Zone to launch this year after the Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) scheme, where charging was introduced on January 30.

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