Coronavirus could delay Birmingham's Clean Air Zone

Birmingham City Council has written to the government asking for a postponement of the Clean Air Zone scheme. It's due to the impact of the coronavirus.

They say that due to the impact of COVID-19 on Birmingham, the priority of residents is to keep themselves and their families safe. They go on to say the effect on businesses means that they're focusing on trying to support their employees "rather than upgrade vehicle fleets."

Birmingham City Council say that for that reason, they have requested to delay the launch of the Clean Air Zone until at least the end of the year (2020) - although this would be kept under constant review in conjunction with the government’s Joint Air Quality Unit.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment yesterday (March 23) wrote to government ministers Grant Shapps MP and George Eustice MP asking for a postponement of the zone.

“The current situation has meant we need to make changes to our original plans. COVID-19 is having a profound impact on the economy of the city and our preparations for the Clean Air Zone."

Councillor Waseem Zaffar MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment

Applications for Clean Air Zone temporary exemption permits are still open, and will be available to residents, low income workers and businesses in the Clean Air Zone for one to two years after the launch of the zone.

These permits are subject to eligibility criteria, including the ownership of a vehicle that does not meet the emission standards for the Clean Air Zone.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know: