Birmingham requests clean air zone delay
26 March 2020
Author: Simon Harris
Birmingham City Council has requested a delay in launching its clean air zone (CAZ) in a letter to the government.
The council said recognised the impact of covid-19 on Birmingham has meant priorities of businesses have shifted to supporting employees rather than upgrading vehicle fleets.
It requested to delay the launch of the zone until at least the end of the calendar year, to be kept under constant review in conjunction with the government's Joint Air Quality Unit.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: "The current situation has meant we need to make changes to our original plans. Covid-19 is having a profound impact on the economy of the city and our preparations for the CAZ.
"However, air pollution remains an on-going concern for this city. Once we have addressed coronavirus in the immediate term, poor air quality will continue to be a significant issue in the long term, and we should not be complacent.
"We believe that a CAZ in Birmingham remains the most effective way of making a sustainable improvement to Birmingham's air quality and we will continue to put in place the infrastructure required to support it."
Applications remain open for CAZ temporary exemption permits. These will be available to residents, low income workers and businesses in the CAZ for a period of one to two years after launch.
All of these exemption permits are subject to eligibility criteria, including the ownership of a vehicle that does not meet the emission standards for the CAZ.