28 May 2020
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will definitely go ahead early next year, a Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) roundtable with Birmingham City Council was told.
But business leaders warned the Council of the crisis facing businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis and urged them to take a “considered approach” to help the worst affected.
The GBCC hosted the meeting on the roll out of the CAZ, which was due to go live this summer but was delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19
Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, reiterated the Council’s intention for the Zone to go live in early 2021 but reassured businesses that they would be given a six month notice ahead of the start of the Zone.
A number of Chamber patrons, including National Express, WSP, Arup, Deutsche Bank, Aston University and University of Birmingham were in attendance as they discussed he opportunities and challenges that businesses will face in adapting to the Clean Air Zone as we emerge from the crisis.
Mr Zaffar also suggested that BCC would be lobbying Government for additional funding in order to support those affected by the roll out of the Zone
Paul Faulkner, the GBCC’s chief executive, said: “As it’s an agenda that we’ve worked closely on for over two years, it’s reassuring to see the Council understand the need for clear and consistent dialogue as they plan for the start of Zone at an exceptional point in our city’s history.
“Whilst we welcome the news that businesses will be given a minimum six month notice before the Zone is launched in 2021, we also reminded the Council of the severity of the crisis that businesses are facing – early feedback from our latest Quarterly Business Report simply underlines the point – and as such, we would urge the Council to take a considered approach when it comes to helping those businesses that will have been badly affected.
“We will continue to engage with the Council on behalf of businesses to ensure that their views are clearly represented and reflected when it comes to the mitigation and support packages the Council will be offering to local firms that need it the most.”
View our Clean Air Zone toolkit here.
Pictured: The boundary of the Clean Air Zone