Birmingham and Bath confirm clean air zone start dates

Birmingham City Council and Bath and North East Somerset Councils have confirmed that their city centre clean air zones (CAZs) will commence on 1 June 2021 and 15 March 2021 respectively.

Both cities had planned to introduce their CAZ this year, but delayed implementation until 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bath will be the first city in England to launch a charging CAZ outside London, although the council has stated that the start date will be monitored to account for any significant developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CAZ will operate in the city centre 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Charges will apply to pre-euro 6/VI diesel and pre-euro 4 petrol vehicles, except private cars and motorbikes.

Higher emission taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses, LGVs and vans (including pick-ups and campervans) will be charged £9 a day while higher emission buses, coaches and HGVs will be charged £100 a day.

The council is currently contacting more than 9,000 local businesses to help them establish whether charges will apply to their vehicles, and how to access the support on offer.

Drivers affected by charges are advised to check the council’s website,, for a list of local exemptions and whether they might be eligible for financial support to upgrade their vehicle or fleet.

The financial support scheme aims to support people regularly affected by charges with grants and interest-free finance to help them upgrade to compliant vehicles. Local businesses and individuals, including those in neighbouring authorities that have premises and/or regularly drive in the zone, can apply.

For example, eligible van drivers could stand to receive up to £4,500 in grants, plus interest-free finance, to help them upgrade to a similar, compliant vehicle. Larger grants are available of up to £20,000 for HGVs and £35,000 for buses and coaches.

Birmingham City Council also has set up a scheme of exemptions and financial incentives, with a value of c. £35 million, to help residents, city centre workers and businesses prepare for the introduction of the CAZ. For more information and to apply go to: The Birmingham CAZ will cover an area of the city inside the inner ring road (A4540 Middleway).

“The majority of drivers on Birmingham’s roads will not need to pay the daily charge but if you do then you may be eligible for an exemption or one of the financial incentives,” said Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment at Birmingham City Council. “So, I would encourage everyone to check the Brum Breathes website today.”

Trade body Logistics UK welcomed the announcement. “This will allow logistics operators time to plan new business practices and speed vehicle replacement timelines where necessary,” said Chris Yarsley, policy manager at Logistics UK.

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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