The Council’s plan for a Clean Air Zone to help tackle the problem of air pollution in the city has received Government approval.
The council submitted its full business case in February after being required by the Government to achieve compliant air quality limits in the shortest possible time.
Dr Therese Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, has now written to the council to confirm that its plans for a Class D charging Clean Air Zone and a package of additional measures have now been approved.
The Government has also allocated £14.2 million from its Implementation Fund for the delivery of signs, cameras and other infrastructure, and £38 million from the Clean Air Fund to support a package of mitigation measures to support businesses and individuals likely to be impacted by the introduction of a Clean Air Zone.
The council is also offering a range of exemptions to allow eligible businesses and individuals more time to make the switch to compliant vehicles.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said:
“We clearly have a major public health crisis in our city, with people being exposed to illegal and unsafe levels of air pollution. The introduction of a Clean Air Zone is the start of our fight back.
“I welcome this announcement from the Government, which gives approval to the plans we have put forward to bring air pollution levels down to legal limits.
“We feel that we will have sufficient resources to get the balance right between introducing a very much needed Clean Air Zone and supporting the communities and businesses potentially affected by these measures.
“I’m pleased that we will have nearly £15 million to support the taxi community, both Hackney carriage and private hire drivers, to upgrade to cleaner and greener vehicles, enabling them to continue providing their valuable service to the city.
“I’m also pleased to have worked with the council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, and particularly its chair, Councillor Barbara Dring, to secure this package of measures.
“In light of the reduced funding for a scrappage scheme, we will continue to work with other council leaders and combined authorities across the country to lobby the Government for a national diesel scrappage scheme.”