Smart Transport

Birmingham and Leeds request delays to Clean Air Zone introduction

Birmingham City Council and Leeds City Council have requested the postponement of their Clean Air Zone introductions due to coronavirus.

The two councils put their request into the government for the delay following Oxford City Council’s announcement that it will delay its own Zero Emissions Zone.

Oxford’s ZEZ was previously due to be introduced in December 2020, while Birmingham and Leeds were due to introduce their CAZs in the summer and September this year respectively.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said it supports the decisions made by Oxford, Birmingham and Leeds’ councils.

Natalie Chapman, FTA head of urban policy, said: “Delaying the introduction of these schemes will allow businesses operating within the logistics sector to focus their efforts on ensuring the public, supermarkets and other retailers all receive the essential items needed during this pandemic. 

“We urge other cities with impending clean air schemes to follow suit; with logistics businesses facing unprecedented demand for food, hygiene products, medicines and other basic items, the right framework must be in place to support these workers through these extraordinary times and to keep the supply chain intact.”

Chapman said that while the FTA “fully and wholeheartedly” supports the need to improve air quality, the industry is not in a position right now to be able to achieve smooth compliance with the introduction of the new zones and also cannot be certain there will be the funds in place to make operational changes to comply.

She said: “As well as the administrative difficulties logistics is experiencing, supplies of technology, equipment and trucks are already being disrupted and more effects are expected. This will further hinder efforts to comply with these schemes and service our cities efficiently.”

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