Operators urged to prepare for Birmingham CAZ

Operators are being asked to prepare for the Birmingham Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

To help in this, the Business Breathes website has been set up by Brum Breathes, Birmingham City Council’s air quality campaign. It contains advice on which vehicles will be subject to the charge for not meeting Euro VI standards.

Non-compliant buses and coaches will be subject to a £50 daily charge.

The council has said it will introduce a range of exemptions for eligible businesses and individuals, including residents living within the CAZ, those travelling to a place of work that is in the CAZ and CVs registered in the CAZ, to give them additional time to change to compliant vehicles.

Buses and coaches in the CAZ can use Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) approved retrofit kit to make vehicles comply with the standards.

The authority has announced a package of measures that will help businesses and individuals affected by the CAZ, after it was allocated £38 million from the Clean Air Fund for support measures. This includes almost £15 million to help taxi drivers to upgrade to cleaner, greener vehicles.

The CAZ will encompass all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road and vehicle number recognition will be used to identify vehicles that do not meet the standards.

One Birmingham operator weighed in on the introduction of the CAZ. Sophie Baugh,

Operations Manager of Bouden Coach Travel, said: “At Bouden Coach Travel we fully support the CAZ being introduced into Birmingham city centre and feel that it is a positive step forward in the reduction of the astounding levels of greenhouse gasses that are being emitted into the atmosphere.

“However, we feel that there are some grey areas within the schemes that are being put into place in order to help those affected. At Bouden Travel we are lucky to have a fleet that is entirely Euro VI compliant however we work with businesses within the area that simply don’t have this luxury. Our concern is how this will affect the smaller business that may not be able to afford to upgrade or purchase the plug in needed. We believe that the measures that will be put into place to help these businesses needs to be more clear: how much will this plug-in cost? What will be granted from the government in order to help smaller operators within the region? This is so that businesses can budget toward making these changes in order to comply effectively.”

Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, Cllr Waseem Zaffar, said: “The Business Breathes website provides a valuable one-stop shop for fleet managers and self-employed drivers to access the information they need to make the switch to greener, cleaner transport options, ensuring Birmingham stays open for business while also helping the city achieve cleaner air for those who live and work here.”

  • For more details, visit: businessbreathes.co.uk

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