Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Green Britain: Birmingham introduces £8 tax for drivers of high-polluting vehicles

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Coaches, buses and HGVs on the hit list face a £50 charge for entering the zone, which covers all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road. The AA said the city council-backed Birmingham Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will affect 100,000 vehicle-owners, with the financial burden falling on lower-income and younger drivers.

The council, which gives exemptions for residents living inside the zone, said the initiative will improve air and health.

It has also set up a £10million scheme offering £2,000 grants to support people working in the CAZ, and who earn less than £30,000 per annum.

They have the option of scrapping a vehicle that would otherwise be subject to the daily fee. The AA claims similar zones for London and Bristol could hit 600,000 car owners.

AA president Edmund King said: “This is a very blunt tool that creates a tax burden for low-income families and workers.”

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said investment of more than £1billion in reopening old railway lines, extending the metro, introducing hydrogen and electric buses and bike and e-scooter hire schemes were a “carrot” for commuters.

He added: “The CAZ implemented by the city is, arguably, the stick.”

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