Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham clean air charge 'to net £43m in first year'

Sherrie Phelps
Image caption Florist Sherrie Phelps fears the charge will affect her customers and deliveries

Up to £43m in charges will be netted in the first year that Birmingham's Clean Air Zone is in operation, the city council predicts.

Drivers of high-polluting vehicles will have to pay to drive through the city after the government approved plans last month.

The council said it could raise £204m from gross income through charges, fines and parking costs over a decade.

Cars and vans drivers will have to pay £8, and lorries and coaches £50 per day.

Council consultants estimate the 2020/21's gross revenue to be £43.1m with 57,400 vehicles non compliant out of a total daily volume of 206,900 vehicles.

Revenue will be reinvested in transport and tackling air pollution, the authority has pledged.

The chargeable area is within the A4540 ring road, but not the road itself. It will affect drivers of petrol vehicles that are over 12 years old and diesels manufactured before 2015.

Operating costs and expenditure are also covered in the overall forecast surplus for reinvestment, which totals around £160m over the life of the project, the council said.

Image caption The council says "all the revenue" generated through the zone would be reinvested in improving public transport and tackling air pollution

Florist Sherrie Phelps, who works within the zone, said she was worried about losing customers and her deliveries from Holland being affected.

"They come on big trucks. They will have to pay the charge as well," she said.

Taxi driver Sajid Mahmood said licensed drivers should not have to pay the charge to work in the city, as is the case in London.

Image copyright Birmingham City Council
Image caption A map shows the clean air zone in Birmingham

Analysis by the local authority found air pollution was responsible for shortening the lives of about 900 people a year.

Councillor Waseem Zaffer said the zone would reduce congestion and the high levels of air pollution in the city.

"All the revenue" generated through the zone would be reinvested into improving public transport and tackling air pollution, he said.

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