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City-wide congestion charge set to be introduced in Birmingham

A congestion charge, similar to that of London, is set to be introduced in Birmingham Credit: PA

Drivers of older cars could be charged up to £10 to drive into the centre of Birmingham, as the city is set to introduce a congestion charge.

The plans have been announced as part of the council's efforts to reduce pollution.

Birmingham has consistently been rated as one of the most polluted cities in the UK by the European Commission.

The 'clean air zone' will cover the middle ring road in the city centre, up until the A4540.

This would mean areas such as Ashted Circus, Bordesley Middleway, Belgrave Interchange, Five Ways Island and Ladywood Circus would be subject to the charge.

Vehicles entering the zone will be charged if they fall below emissions standards - Euro 4 petrol, which are those registered before around 2006, and Euro 6 for diesel, which are those registered before around 2015.

The council has been formulating the plans since late 2015 but the policy was not expected to have been introduced until 2019.

It is thought the council's plans to bring in the charge ahead of schedule to avoid a heavy fine.

The European Commission has already issued a 'final warning' to the city to clean up its air by 2020.

There are 520 deaths a year due to respiratory and cardiovascular disease in Birmingham, according to Public Health England, and 1,500 across the Midlands.

Detailed proposals are set to be discussed on June 26.

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