Car tax changes not enough to cut pollution as council looks at ‘extending’ restrictions

Birmingham: Clean Air Zone signs seen across the city

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Birmingham’s new Clean Air Zone was launched last week but it is likely more restrictions will soon follow. However, the council’s feasibility study showed a Class D Clean Air Zone would not be enough to comply with the pollution rates.

Birmingham City Council documents said they were “reviewing” further ideas including parking restrictions.

They said: “Birmingham is creating Green Travel Districts with less congestion, less pollution, fewer accidents, and healthier, safer, more productive communities.

“In densely populated residential areas, the aim is to create an environment where residents, workers and visitors can safely walk, cycle or take public transport as their preferred travelling option.

“Alongside the CAZ, the council is reviewing and extending parking controls in and around the city centre.”

This would remove all free parking from Birmingham City Council controlled area within the charging zone.

This would be replaced with paid parking spaces which would cost the same as off-street parking bays.

The council estimates around 15 percent of traffic parking in the city uses free spaces.

They claim charging for bays would reduce the number of cars searching for spaces by around 30 percent.

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The council also adds there would be a benefit in raising cash from charging for city centre parking.

Other restrictions being considered include banning traffic from joining the busy Suffolk Street Queensway.

They believe this would cut traffic levels and reduce pollution rates where levels were currently too high.

Another possible plan would involve the closure of two popular roads within the city centre.

Lister Street and Great Lister Street could be shut to reduce delays and pollution.

This is because traffic would no longer need to stop to allow road users to exit from these roads.

The new Clean Air Zone will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Car, taxi and Light Goods Vehicle owners will be charged £8 per day to use the roads once the payment system goes live on 14 June.

Meanwhile, coaches, buses and Heavy Goods Vehicles will face a higher £50 per day fee.

It is estimated around 25 percent of traffic will need to pay the fee when the scheme is launched.

Petrol drivers who meet Euro 4 emissions standards and diesel drivers who meet Euro 6 standards will not need to pay any fines.

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