Birmingham Clean Air Zone: first month sees 44k fines

Birmingham City Council has handed out more than 44,000 fines to drivers who failed to pay the £8 daily charge to enter the new Clean Air Zone.

The CAZ, which went live in early June, began charging users of non-compliant older vehicles from June 14.

Failure to pay will result in a fine of £120, although this will be halved to £60 if paid within six days. It means the council could face fines between £2.5m and £5.3m a month if compliance doesn’t improve.

Incredibly, more than 80 of the fines handed out in the first month of the operation were for Birmingham City Council itself when drivers of its vehicles entered the zone without paying the daily charge.

Birmingham Clean Air Zone’s first month figures revealed: More than 44,000 drivers entered the zone in non-compliant vehicles, city council says

The Birmingham zone was first introduced on June 1 in an effort to reduce air pollution and became the first emissions-related charging zone to excite motorists outside of London, and the Ultra Low Emission Zone was launched in 2019.

The city council confirmed it had issued 44,106 non-payment fines (PCNs) since June 21 after charging began on June 14.

It said it expects the number of people fined to decrease as they adapt to the system.

Incredibly, at least 82 of the sentences were handed out to the municipality itself, according to the, BBC.

That’s because Birmingham City Council vehicles that don’t comply with CAZ rules have passed through the zone without paying the daily rate.

“Some” of these cases – it said – were the waste vehicles driving into town for repairs and maintenance.

The authority said it would pay the fines along with other motorists who received a PCN in the first month of the scheme.

While the daily charge for cars, vans and taxis that do not meet the required emissions standard is £8, trucks and coaches pay £50 to enter the zone.

In the first month of operation, the daily average number of vehicles entering the CAZ was between 95,000 and 100,000, says the municipality’s first monthly report.

In the first two weeks, 18.7 percent of vehicles entering the zone were non-compliant and forced to pay the daily charge.

In the third and fourth weeks, however, the percentage of non-compliant vehicles fell to 12.4 percent – likely as a result of the charges that came into effect on June 14.

The Clean Air Zone includes all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road in Birmingham city centre

The Clean Air Zone includes all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road in Birmingham city centre

Birmingham City Council says it expects the number of people fined to decrease as they adapt to the system

Birmingham City Council says it expects the number of people fined to decrease as they adapt to the system

Data released by the council this week shows that only a quarter of drivers – 10,464 – of vehicles that fail to meet the required emissions standard have paid the subsequent fine to date.

The council said it is implementing a “soft enforcement strategy” until the end of this month, allowing those who fail to pay the fine to pay the original CAZ fee instead of the full fine.

It is estimated that a combination of charges and fines will bring in £1.5 million in the first month.

Passenger cars accounted for 80 percent of unique vehicles entering the zone daily, with vans the second largest vehicle category at 9 percent, the report says.

Incredibly, the city council confirmed earlier this month that 83 of the vehicles fined for failing to pay the CAZ levy were their own.

The authority said it would pay the fines, with some of the motorbikes charged being waste vehicles that have to travel into the city for repairs and maintenance.

The council said it is implementing a

The council said it is implementing a “soft enforcement strategy” until the end of this month, allowing those who fail to pay the fine to pay the original CAZ fee instead of the full fine.

Councilor Waseem Zaffar MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: ‘It is still very early for the Clean Air Zone, but it is good to see a reduction in the number of non-compliant vehicles entering the zone and I remain committed to publishing regular updates on the operation and impact of the zone on traffic and air quality.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind all drivers to check if they have to pay the daily fee by visiting www.brumbreathes.co.uk.

“And if they do have to pay the fee, there is an extensive package of temporary and permanent waivers and financial incentives that we will continue to use to help the transition to a clean air city.”

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