Birmingham clean air zone rules
Whether you think it ‘rules’ or not, Birmingham’s clean air zone is coming into force on 1 June 2021, and there are some rules to be aware of if you’re visiting or a resident of Birmingham.
In this blog we help to understand what a clean air zone is, why it’s necessary for Birmingham and how you can prepare yourself ahead of the enforcement date.
But, if you’re in a hurry and you haven’t got time to read through it all, here’s what you need to know; from 1 June 2021, you may need to pay to drive in Birmingham if your vehicle does not meet emissions standards. You can use this Government service to check if you need to pay for your vehicle: https://www.gov.uk/clean-air-zones
When does Birmingham clean air zone start?
1 June 2021.
What is a clean air zone?
A clean air zone is an area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality, particularly caused by pollution from road vehicles.
What is the difference between a congestion charge and a clean air zone?
A congestion charge, the type found in London for example, charges every vehicle to enter a designated area whereas as in a clean air zone, only the most polluting vehicles are charged.
Why is Birmingham’s clean air zone being introduced?
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone is being introduced to tackle levels of nitrogen dioxide which are currently above the legal limit. According to Birmingham City Council, poor air in Birmingham contributes to 900 premature deaths in the city per year.
What areas will the clean air zone cover?
All roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road, but not the Middleway ring road itself. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of signs to guide you!
What are the charges?
For cars, taxis and vans that don’t meet the emission standards the charge is £8 per day, while HGVs, coaches and buses that don’t meet the emission standards will be charged £50 per day.
When will the charges apply?
24 hours a day, 365 days a year and charges will apply daily, but it’s important to note that you won’t get a bill – the onus is on you to realise and pay any charges. You will be able to pay on the day, up to six days before you visit and up to six days after your visit. It’s also important to note that 24 hours runs from midnight to midnight, which means you can enter the zone within the day many times for a single charge. And finally, perhaps most importantly to note, you will be fined if you do not pay!
I am visiting Birmingham; do I have to pay?
Simply put, yes, if you’re vehicle doesn’t meet the emission standards (or isn’t exempt).
Remember, you can use this Government service to check if you need to pay for your vehicle: https://www.gov.uk/clean-air-zones
I am a resident of Birmingham; do I have to pay?
- Do you live at an address within the clean air zone?
- Do you own a vehicle that does not met the emission standards for the clean air zone (and will therefore be subject to the daily charge)?
- Is your vehicle registered to the same address you live at?
If the answer to all three questions is yes, you will be eligible for a temporary exemption permit, which you can apply for here: https://bit.ly/3vMLNL6
Don’t forget to check your vehicle before making the application as you may not be subject to the daily charge: https://www.gov.uk/clean-air-zones
I work in Birmingham; do I have to pay?
If you work in the clean air zone, but live outside of it, you can apply for a temporary exemption permit if you meet all three of the following criteria:
- You are the registered owner/keeper of a vehicle that will be charged
- You work at least 18 hours per week at a business within the clean air zone
- You earn no more than £30,000 a year
Again, you can apply for an exemption permit here, https://bit.ly/3vMLNL6 but don’t forget to check your vehicle first before making the application as you may not be subject to the daily charge: https://www.gov.uk/clean-air-zones
If you are a landlord with property or a tenant living within the clean air zone, or you are looking to buy within the clean air zone, and you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.