Birmingham clean air zone gets closer
Date: 13th Monday, May, 2019
Birmingham, along with Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton have to clean-up their act or be fined! By 2020, air quality in these cities must be improved. Vehicles travelling into Birmingham will be charged according to their exhaust emissions which will vary from zero, for more modern cars, to £100 for some HGV’s and coaches. Approximately 90,000 non-compliant cars enter the city every day. Failure to meet the emissions reduction deadline could result in a £60M fine.
London’s congestion charge has reduced traffic in the capital (though you wouldn’t notice!), moreover, it has generated incomes in excess of £150M per annum since 2014 which has been a tidy sum for TfL to reinvest. London’s ambitions have extended to introducing an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone which penalises non-compliant vehicle owners to the tune of £12.50 per day. Critics say that this will affect London’s poorer communities.
For Birmingham, this foray into emissions reduction can only be a positive for the people who frequent the city. The high levels of toxic gases, such as Nitrogen dioxide, have been linked indirectly to the deaths of 900 people per year. Anything that can be done to address this must surely be considered. This enforced initiative will inevitably impact the cost of logistics in the city as businesses rely on their supply chain to keep trading. Nevertheless, with over 17 billion tons of cargo transported on the UK’s roads each year, the show must go on.
As for the future, it is likely that the impact of both alternative transport infrastructure such as electric trams and the growth of electric car adoption will eventually negate the concerns over emissions. Of course, by then there will no doubt be other concerns to worry about!
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