Cardiff is set to become the fourth city to reject using a fee charging clean air zone (CAZ) to cut pollution levels.

Rather than introducing a charging CAZ, Cardiff council is proposing spending £32m to upgrade the city’s buses and taxis to Euro-6 standard, as well as improving traffic flow in the city centre.

If the council’s cabinet approves the proposals this week, Cardiff will follow in the footsteps of Nottingham, Derby and Southampton in rejecting the CAZ model to combat pollution levels.

The measures, revealed in the council’s outline business case, include replacing older buses with electric buses, introducing a bus retrofitting scheme, making major changes to Castle Street, Westgate and the city centre loop, and a funding scheme to help taxi firms upgrade their fleets.

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In a statement on its website the council said it had rejected the option of a charging CAZ because “guidance by the UK Government Joint Air Quality Unit clearly states that a charging clean air zone should only be implemented if non-charging alternatives are found to be inefficient to bring compliance in the shortest time possible”.

Councillor Caro Wild, cabinet member for strategic planning and transport, said: "The council will be calling on Welsh Government for the necessary funding to bring these measures into place as soon as possible.”

RHA policy director Duncan Buchanan said: “We welcome this approach by Cardiff which is the right way to deal with the problem rather than introducing a CAZ which is a cherry picking approach which does not solve the problem of pollution and is nothing more than a tax.”

He added that Cardiff was one of a growing number of councils resisting the CAZ option.

“We are aware of a number of other councils who also don’t want to introduce CAZ into their cities and that is because they recognise the damage that will do to local businesses,” Buchanan said.