The government has given Birmingham City Council the green light to roll out a charging clean air zone (CAZ) and approved £38m of mitigation funding.

This includes £10.05m to help local hauliers and coach operators upgrade their fleets to the required Euro-6 standard.

Announcing the government’s approval for its plan the council also confirmed it will be granting a number of exemptions for eligible hauliers.

The exemptions will cover hauliers with HGVs registered within the CAZ who will get an exemption for two HGVs for one year.

In addition hauliers with non-compliant HGVs registered within the Birmingham area which have an existing finance agreement beyond 2020, will also be allowed to run two of these vehicles into the zone for one year.

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FTA welcomed the measures.

Chris Yarsley, FTA Midlands policy manager said: “Birmingham City Council has bucked the trend set by other cities across the country to produce an air quality plan that protects the health of both its citizens as well as that of the local economy.

“Following a succession of disastrous CAZ proposals in cities including Bath, Leeds and Manchester, which all failed to consider the needs of local and small business, FTA is pleased Birmingham City Council has taken FTA’s advice on board when formulating its plans.

“By granting a one-year exemption for commercial vehicles currently registered within the Zone or those registered in the wider Birmingham area which have an existing finance agreement beyond 2020, it recognises the financial burden that prematurely upgrading vehicles places upon local or small businesses.”

The zone, due to come into effect from January 2020, will cover all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road.

Non-compliant private cars, taxis and vans charged £8 per day and non-compliant HGVs, coaches and buses charged £50 per day to enter.

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