Private vehicles are exempt. Credit; SCC

Sheffield CAZ working, says council

A year after its introduction, the city’s clean air zone has led to a two-thirds reduction in the use of heavy-polluting vehicles, the local authority said.

Introduced on Monday 27 February 2023, Sheffield’s CAZ, like those in other cities, aims to reduce harmful levels of nitrogen dioxide caused by polluting vehicles.

CAZs have been introduced in different ways in other UK cities. Under Sheffield’s version, non-compliant lorries, vans, buses, coaches, and taxis are charged to drive within the zone in Sheffield – private cars are not charged, and the council said it has no plans to change this.

There are also various exemptions, mostly relating to educational or community-based trips.

Ahead of the scheme’s introduction, the council launched a financial assistance programme to support upgrades among those responsible for polluting vehicles. To date, more than 2,000 grants have been made, and £4.2m disbursed.

Since the launch, data has shown that the number of non-compliant vehicles has reduced by nearly two-thirds.

SCC commissioned a study to compare the number of polluting vehicles using the zone in October 2023 with those entering the area in November 2022, prior to the CAZ being introduced.

Cllr Ben Miskell, chair of SCC’s transport, regeneration and climate committee, said: “It’s been a year since the Clean Air Zone was first introduced and I want to thank the people of Sheffield and businesses in the area for their response. The data is showing that people are making the switch to cleaner vehicles. Taking the most polluting lorries, vans and buses off our streets and improving the air that we breathe.

“I’m delighted to see so many businesses have taken the opportunity to use our financial support packages in order to upgrade or replace their vehicles and don’t forget we don’t charge private cars.

“Through our Clean Air Investment Plan, we’re investing a million pounds to go even further to provide projects that will enable us to improve our air quality. But we can’t do that on our own. We need central government to help us complete the job, including delivering zero emission buses to Sheffield.”

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Looks like a good scheme which has avoided much of the antagonism and conspiracy theorists jumping on board. Still….shame about all those trees…..

By Sceptic

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