The subject of poor air quality has become increasingly prevalent in Birmingham over the last decade and it was no surprise to see that the city, along with five others outside of London, was mandated by the European Commission and the Government to introduce a Clean Air Zone by 2020.
The Zone was due to go live in the summer, however, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Birmingham City Council have put the start date back to the summer in order to allow businesses and residents to recover from the fallout of COVID-19 – click Here for more details. The Clean Air Zone subsequently went live on 1st June 2021.
The Council’s proposal, which rests on charging heavily polluting vehicles for entering into parts of the city centre (covering all of the roads within but not including the A4540 middle way ring road - see map), is likely to impact a number of GBCC members that operate in and travel through the area.
Birmingham City Council opened a formal consultation in regards to their plans in the summer of 2018 and the GBCC formally submitted its consultation response in August 2018.
The following tasks were undertaken in a bid to collate feedback from our members which has been used to inform the consultation response:
When the Zone was due to go live this year, throughout 2019, the GBCC formally partnered with Birmingham City Council in a bid to raise awareness of the Zone amongst the business community and to ensure firms are fully prepared for the advent of the Zone.
A subsequent survey conducted amongst our membership last year revealed that:
As a result, the GBCC has partnered with Birmingham City Council to produce the Business Clean Air Zone Toolkit. The online document provides a raft of information on:
In a bid to raise awareness of the Zone amongst the business community, the GBCC has held a number of briefing events with representatives from Birmingham City Council and private sector partners – click here and here for more information
The GBCC is planning to host further events in the run-up to the start of the Zone in order to help businesses fully prepare for the start of the Zone – full details will be shared in due course.
Paul Faulkner, former CEO of the GBCC and Councillor Waseem Zaffar OBE, Cabinet Member for Birmingham City Council – Transport & Environment produced a podcast outlining how firms can prepare for the Zone and the steps in place to secure further support
Effective travel planning will play an important role in helping businesses prepare for the start of the Clean Air Zone
In this section, you will find a briefing paper produced in partnership with the GBCC & BCC on the steps that firms can put in place to help their staff use alternative modes of transport where possible, a link to a briefing event which included presentations from the likes of National Express and the University of Birmingham on how they’ve embedded travel plans as part our their output and a podcast with Councillor Waseem Zaffar which covers the wider travel planning agenda.
The GBCC are hosting a number of workshops ahead of June which will help businesses prepare for the start of the Zone; topics will cover how businesses can upgrade their vehicles, access financial support and encourage staff to use alternative modes of transport.
Click below for more information on how SMEs can access financial support
The GBCC also held a webinar in partnership with Birmingham City Council and DEFRA on how businesses with fleet can use the online payment system to use the Birmingham Clean Air Zone. Click on the link below to watch the webinar