So today there has been an announcement by Birmingham City Council that after much pressure they will be introducing a congestion fee similar to the one you will have to pay when driving in central London during the working hours Monday to Friday.
The aim of these changes and the new charge is to reduce the amount of harmful fumes and provide better air to reduce the estimated 900 premature deaths per year and also bring down the cost to the NHS of treating people with breathing and lung conditions like asthma. If they don't do this by 2020 there is a chance the council and government will be issued a huge fine of approx £60 million.
But what will it mean for commuters in the 2nd city cost wise and why are they doing this? Well it is not all doom and gloom, it will all come down to the car that you are driving. Today the announcement was that the older cars are the vehicles that will be penalised cars that meet the Euro 4 petrol standard – mostly vehicles made since 2006 – and Euro 6 diesel, mostly manufactured since 2015, will NOT have to pay.
What is the cost?
The cars that do not fit into these brackets will face a daily charge from £6 to £10 to travel within the A4540, known as the Middle Ring Road. The council believe this makes up for around 45% of the vehicles that make this commute.
The cost to coaches and HGV is looking to be much more with figures estimated to be up to £100 but there is still no decision on if motorcycles will be charged.
There is a possibility that it will no only affect your daily commute to work Monday to Friday but it is currently set to run 7 days a week and at all times, but that is subject to change.
This new measure will be enforced by a network of number plate recognition cameras going up in the affected areas to spot when your vehicle enters the affected areas.
“We want to give the people of Birmingham the fundamental right of breathing good quality clean air. Nine hundred deaths are accelerated each year as a result of air pollution. That’s not the city I want my child, or any children across the city, growing up in. Ideally, we don’t want any cars coming through the city centre after 2020 to be fined, but rather to be a compliant vehicle,”
Council Labour cabinet member for transport Waseem Zaffar
These changes could come into play as early as next year but as previously mention, they will need to be in full swing by 2020.
To help ease the pain there are plans to introduce various things to commuters to make life easier including more bus lanes to make using public transport quicker in the city to encourage more people to use the service, park and ride schemes on the edge of the city and there are also funds to put in at least 200 electric charging points around the city for those able to swap their cars.
Where will the changes be happening?
Below is a map and a list of the areas that will be seeing the affect of todays announcement
It would include these areas:
- Ashted Circus
- Lawley Middleway
- Garrison Circus
- Watery Lane Middleway
- Bordesley Circus
- Bordesley Middleway
- Camp Hill Circus
- Highgate Middleway
- Haden Circus
- Belgrave Middleway
- Belgrave Interchange
- Lee Bank Middleway
- Islington Row Middleway
- Five Way Island
- Ladywood Middleway
- Ladywood Circus
- Icknield Street
- Heaton Street, a road which connects the A4540 to Hockley Circus and the junction with the A41
- Boulton Middleway
- New John Street West
- Junction with A34 Newtown Row
- Newtown Middleway
- Dartmouth Circus
- Dartmouth Middleway
You can click here to see if your car will be exempt from the charges and if you have any questions on how you will be able to get in to a vehicle that will be exempt then contact us and we will be happy to give you some advice.