Coronavirus pandemic delays Birmingham’s launch of clean air zone

The clean air zone was expected to launch this summer but will be postponed to allow businesses and the public to focus on the pandemic

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Birmingham City Council has written to the government requesting postponement of the launch of its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in a bid to help the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

The city’s CAZ was expected to be introduced this summer but the council has now asked for a delay until at least the end of the year, while keeping it under constant review and in conjuction with the government’s Joint Air Quality Unit.

The local authority says the current priority for income workers and residents is to ensure that they and their families stay safe, and for businesses to try support employees rather than upgrade vehicle fleets.

Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “Covid-19 is having a profound impact on the economy of the city and our preparations for the Clean Air Zone.

“However, air pollution remains an on-going concern for this city. Once we have addressed coronavirus in the immediate term, poor air quality will continue to be a significant issue in the long term, and we should not be complacent.”

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