Nearly 50,000 Clean Air Zone fines scrapped in Birmingham as drivers refuse to pay

Nearly 50,000 Clean Air Zone fines scrapped by council as drivers refuse to pay. Credit: BPM Media

Nearly 50,000 Clean Air Zone (CAZ) fines have been scrapped by Birmingham City Council, as drivers have successfully challenged them. 48,256 penalty charge notices have been dismissed after motorists refused to pay, deeming them 'unfair'. The huge number of penalties cancelled by the authority has raised questions about the running of the CAZ.

Birmingham City Council said: "In the 18-month period, since the start of the enforcement of the Clean Air Zone in 2021, there have been 69,114 penalty charge notices written off so far which is around 6% of the total issued."This represents a combination of cases that have been challenged/appealed and the reasons of mitigation accepted/discretion exercised, as per the council's discretion policy, and cases where the council has been unable to collect payment or trace the registered keeper."There have been 48,256 penalty charge notices that have been rescinded so far where the reasons of mitigation have been accepted/discretion exercised, that are included in the total."

Birmingham's Clean Air Zone covers an area of the city centre within the A4540 Middleway. Credit: ITV News Central

Around 50,000 motorists are still being fined every month for misusing the CAZ, as people continue to be caught out in huge numbers as drivers either ignore the CAZ or don't understand how it works or where it operates. Bosses have also had difficulties enforcing fines, with thousands simply refusing to pay. Only around 40% of penalties are paid within a month.It costs £8 a day for cars which don't meet emissions standards to drive in the CAZ but the idea is the charge will act as a deterrent.

Drivers who fail to pay are hit with fines of £120, cut to £60 if paid within 14 days.A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: “The purpose of the Clean Air Zone is to improve air quality in the city centre. Since its introduction it has helped reduce the number of the most polluting vehicles that enter the zone every day. This is helping to improve air quality."