Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone has marked its first anniversary this month, though it has its fair share of both supporters and detractors 12 months on from launch.
The city’s Clean Air Zone charges for the highest polluting vehicles to enter the city centre, in an effort by the local authority to tackle air quality issues.
It is estimated that around 900 premature deaths a year in the Birmingham area are caused because of air pollution, and by charging for higher polluting vehicles to drive in the centre of the city will put some drivers off.
Those against the scheme reckon that the project was poorly delivered and air quality has not been comprehensively monitored outside of the Clean Air Zone boundaries.
Backers cite figures that show that air quality has improved, with a drop of 13% in nitrogen dioxide for example, and vehicles entering the zone that are compliant - and therefore no charge is required - have gone up from 80% to 89% during the past year.
“We support any project that will reduce air pollution in our towns and cities, and believe that Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone should encourage drivers and fleet operators to think more about decarbonising fleet operations.
“As well as improving air quality, which is crucial in urban areas, fleets can also see cost benefits from switching to cleaner models thanks to tax benefits for both employers and drivers.”
Rob Marshall, Gateway2Lease Operations Director
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