Birmingham CAZ: operators urged to apply for grants
Operators into Birmingham – now delaying its Clean Air Zone until next summer – have been urged to apply for part of the £10m upgrade funding.
The Confederation of Passenger Transport’s Midlands region says the city has now confirmed that the CAZ won’t start until July 2020 at the earliest, but says that the clock is ticking for operators who want part-funding for retrofit Euro VI or new coach upgrades: “Fleet operators within the West Midlands will be able to apply for a cash payment of up to £15,000 towards retrofit technology or compliant vehicles,” David Warrilow, CPT Regional Manager, said.
The financial assistance will come from Birmingham’s £10m Heavy Duty Vehicle Fund, but CPT urges operators who want to apply to first complete a questionnaire at https://is.gd/T0ZSYi
“Birmingham City Council stated that information regarding the payment application process will follow shortly and any payment will be subject to state aid regulations.
“Bus and coach operators who have vehicles registered within the BCAZ that do not comply with the required emission standard (Euro VI) and/or with existing finance leases extending beyond 2020 will be able to apply for exemption of up to two vehicles. The exception period will apply for one year only and start in line with the official BCAZ start date.”
After that exemption period, warns CPT, operators will need compliant vehicles or to pay the daily charge. In its guidance, BCC says operators applying for upgrade grants must be actively trading for more than 12 months within the CAZ, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands area
- Eligible, non-compliant coaches must be either:
- Registered and located within Birmingham CAZ area or
- Registered in the Birmingham City area and conducting commercial operations within the CAZ area or
- Registered in the West Midlands area and conducting commercial operations within the CAZ area.
The BCAZ will levy a charge of £50 a day for non-compliant coaches within the CAZ area, roughly bounded by the A4540 ring road. There are short-term exemptions for two vehicles at each operator within the BCAZ, and a perpetual exemption for vehicles over 40 years old. Operators can keep abreast of developments at http://businessbreathes.co.uk