Birmingham City Council is considering introducing a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) within the city’s ring-road in order to incentivise the take-up of cleaner vehicles by operators in the area.

Proposals outlined in its Draft Low Emission Strategy revealed that it was currently conducting a feasibility study into whether a LEZ would be effective in improving air quality and reducing emissions.

The plans mean that an LEZ in place for trucks over 3.5-tonnes, as well as vans over 1.2-tonnes in the city centre, after the results of the study have been analysed next year.

The strategy said that, if the introduction of an LEZ is recommended, it could be introduced between 2014 and 2016.

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council was unable to confirm the minimum emission level that would apply to LGVs and vans in any future LEZ: in London the minimum for trucks is Euro-4 while large vans must be Euro-3 and above.

The spokesman added it was working with other local authorities in the West Midlands to form a Low Emissions Towns and Cities (LETC) programme, which aims to improve air quality and create incentives for the take-up of ‘cleaner’ vehicles.

“The LETC group are involved in a technical feasibility into the viability of low emission zones within the region, to assess the available options to address the traffic related pollution problems,” the spokesman said.

Matt Ellis, transport manager at Birmingham-based Transvan Express Carriers, said it only operated Euro-5 vehicles, so the introduction of an LEZ was unlikely to result in any additional cost to the business.

David Pottinger, director at L P Transport (Tividale), said: “There would be a little ripple in the water as I would have to replace some of my trucks. 70%  are already compliant with the London LEZ. It wouldn’t have a huge effect on us.”