A report from UK100, which represents the leaders opf a network of local authorities, has called on the government to support an enhanced Clean Air Fund (CAF). Doing that will allow the establishment of many more Clean Air Zones (CAZs) across the UK by supporting businesses that would be affected by them.
The group is calling for £1bn from the government and a further £500m from the private sector towards the enhanced CAF. That would enable or enhance 30 new and existing CAZs.
Should that money materialise, it will allow CAZs to be introduced in all the locations that the government has warned will have illegal levels of NO2 by 2021.
Those areas include major cities such as Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester. Smaller locations include those such as Basildon, Fareham, Rochford, Stockport and others. CAZs require Euro 6 emissions standards of coaches and buses.
Sizes of the proposed Clean Air Zones extend from 20-25km2 to 1,600km2. Nonetheless, “there is potential for even smaller ones, where there is an acute pollution issue in a single street or a few streets,” says the report.
Under the plans, UK100 suggests that up to £6,000 per vehicle would be made available to help meet the costs of retrofitting or replacing non-compliant coaches and buses.
Using a ‘notional CAZ’ as a baseline, UK100 says that class D CAZs – where car drivers are required to pay to enter unless their vehicle meets Euro 4 standards for petrol or Euro 6 for diesel – deliver the greatest economic benefit
However, it notes that an influencing factor in deciding the optimum class is the number of kilometres driven within it by different vehicle types, suggesting that where coach, bus and truck volumes are high, a class of CAZ that does not charge cars may be adequate.