Birmingham City Council has written to central government requesting a postponement of the launch of its Clean Air Zone until at least the end of the calendar year.

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 Clean Air Zone.

“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 Clean Air Zone 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.”

The council has said applications remain open for Clean Air Zone temporary exemption permits. These will be available to residents, low-income workers and businesses in the Clean Air Zone 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 Clean Air Zone, further information on the exemption permits can be found at www.brumbreathes.co.uk/info/5/exemptions-additional-support/21/apply-exemption.