Birmingham plans congestion charge by 2020

Birmingham plans congestion charge by 2020
Birmingham City Council is looking to introduce a congestion charge in the city centre by 2020.

Under the plans, car drivers entering the proposed Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will have to pay a charge of between £6 and £10 if they fall below the Euro 4 petrol and Euro 6 diesel standards.

But the levy could be as high as £100 a day for HGVs and some other heavy vehicles.

The proposed CAZ will cover all roads within Birmingham city centre, including the Bullring Shopping Centre and Arena Birmingham music venue.

But the A4540 middle ring road will remain just outside the chargeable zone.

READ MORE: Clean Air Zones – what are they and where are they?

The move comes as Birmingham faces a 2020 deadline to introduce measures to tackle poor air quality in the city – or face a potential fine of £60 million.

The council cabinet will now discuss the planned congestion charge and other proposals at a meeting on June 26.

If agreed, the measures will go out to a public consultation, before the council submits its business case to Government in September.

Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment, describes air pollution as a “public health crisis” that constitutes one of the city’s “biggest challenges”.

He insists the planned congestion charge is “not about making money” and says any earnings from it will go straight back into the transport budget.

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London has already had a congestion charge in operation since 2003, and an ultra-low emission zone will be introduced in the centre of the capital next April.

There are also plans for clean air zones to be introduced in a number of other cities across the UK.

In 2015 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published proposals for CAZs in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton.

Leeds City Council has just outlined its final proposal for the establishment of a Clean Air Zone in the city, and Nottingham could introduce its own CAZ in the first half of next year.

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