The U.K government is moving forward with environmental sustainability at a rapid pace. The local authorities have set 2030 as the target when both petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned from sale. That is nine years from now, but 2030 will come sooner than you think. Initially, the target was set at 2035, but recent effects of global warming have amped up efforts, and the U.K government isn’t sitting around, waiting for the worst to happen. They are taking the fight head-on by becoming the first G7 country to adopt the complete ban.
If you do not have at least a hybrid vehicle by now, you are in deep trouble. As it is expected that the restrictions will slowly mount up to a point where you won’t be allowed to drive a purely fuel-based car. Diesels will have it worse and that is evident with the implementation of the Birmingham Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
The European Commission summoned the Birmingham City Council to cut down on emissions and ban pollution inducing vehicles by 2020. They also warned the authorities that failure to implement the ban would result in a £60 million fine. The U.K central government, therefore, approved the plans to implement the Clean Air Zone in Birmingham by January 2020. However, the Covid-19 pandemic swept over the world and brought everything to a halt. The city had to postpone its plans to January 2021 and then to June 2021.
Now, the CAZ is in full effect, and it operates 24/7, 365 days a year. According to the rules, any vehicle compliant with the regulations (must be Euro 4 or higher for gasoline and Euro 6 and higher for diesel) will be allowed to operate in the zone without any charge. However, all non-compliant vehicles would have to pay a fine for every day they drive in the area.
The zone does not cover the entire city of Birmingham, but it targets specific areas that reportedly have bad air quality. Currently, the CAZ covers the whole city centre, including Digbeth, Deritend, and the Southside district containing the Chinese Quarter and Gay Village, the Jewellery Quarter, plus areas of Highgate, Newtown and Bordesley.
The zone will expand in the future and cover a larger area of the metropolis. Not only that, it will stretch to other cities until there comes a time where you won’t be able to drive a regular diesel or petrol vehicle without paying a fine.
So, if you are living in Birmingham, now is the perfect time to scrap your diesel car and buy a hybrid or electric vehicle instead. For people who are outside of Birmingham city, there is still some time to spare. But there is no point in being complacent, as the government is serious about emissions.
It would be wise to invest in a ‘green’ vehicle now so you can steer clear of the 2030 ban and take advantage of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) at the same time.