Joint statement from Birmingham City Council and Leeds City Council regarding Clean Air Zone delays – Documents for Businesses and Organisations
The introduction of the UK’s first Clean Air Zones is to be significantly postponed due to a Government delay in delivering digital systems required to make the zones operational and enforceable.
Both Birmingham City Council and Leeds City Council had been on track to implement Clean Air Zones on the basis that a vehicle checker tool, which is being delivered by the Government’s Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU), would be ready by October 2019 as planned.
However, JAQU (a joint unit between DfT and DEFRA) has now confirmed that the vehicle checker will not be available until at least December 2019 — leaving just weeks before the zones were due to come into force in January 2020.
Additionally, the Government is now expecting local authorities to deliver a system for collecting payments from non-compliant vehicles which enter the Clean Air Zone — having previously said that it would deliver this.
The original plans for Clean Air Zones in Birmingham and Leeds came after the Government identified that parts of each city would likely fail legal air quality levels by 2020 and instructed both local authorities to tackle air pollution as soon as possible.
Air pollution has been identified by Public Health England as the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. Evidence shows that it can cause or worsen a range of lung and heart conditions including asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic heart disease and stroke.