‘Another stealth tax’ Clean Air Zones slammed as more introduced

Birmingham: Driver on dispute with council over clean air charge

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Clean Air Zones (CAZs) are not supported by Express.co.uk readers, according to a new poll. CAZs are being introduced in cities across the UK to help reduce illegal levels of air pollution. Bradford became the latest area to be covered by a CAZ, with a daily charge for vehicles entering the city centre from September 26. The CAZ has been designed to improve air quality and public health following “ministerial direction” to reduce pollution levels in the city recorded in 2018.

Private cars are exempt but older taxis will have to pay £7, vans and minibuses will face a £9 fee and some buses will be charged £50.

The government will receive £2 from every charge, with the scheme predicted to generate between £8million and £9million for Bradford Council in the first year to spend on environmental projects

Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “I don’t think any politician in Bradford is against cleaning our air.

“We don’t want to be at a point in 40 years’ time where people are asking why we didn’t take the right action to reduce pollution.”

The UK already has some CAZs in operation, with more planned to launch in Bristol and Newcastle.

Greater Manchester and Sheffield are also expected to announce CAZ strategies in the coming months.

In a poll that ran from 11am on Friday, September 30, to 2pm on Wednesday, October 5, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Do you support the introduction of more Clean Air Zones?”

Overall, 1,547 votes were cast with the overwhelming majority, 93 percent (1,438 people), answering “no”, they do not support Clean Air Zones.

However, seven percent (104 people) said “yes” in favour of more Clean Air Zones, while five people said they did not know.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts in a lively debate on CAZs

Many readers commented that CAZs were a “money-making scheme” for the council’s benefit.

Username Made in Britain said: “Just a way for councils to rake in money from motorists!”

Username Paul Baker said: “Just another scam from councils.”


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Another, username chorlton13 said: “No just another stealth tax.”

And username grimm said: “Clean Air Zones are purely money-making schemes.”

Meanwhile, some argued that CAZs would negatively affect the local areas, with username incendiary writing: “Clean Air Zones are not compatible with the local economy.”

Username Elite said: “It will mean that more businesses will go out of business as people can’t afford £50 to go into city centres and nor would they want to pay it.”

And username SMusket wrote: “Just another reason not to go and spend my money there.”

While username Mrs Patterson said: “Doesn’t work, drivers take a different route and it just pushes the pollution from one area to another.”

However, some readers were more positive about reducing pollution with username Olan1970

Writing: “Clean Air Zones are a very good idea. Sadly it is badly planned and would be badly executed.”

Another, username Tolstoi said: “I would support the use of electric vehicles only in ‘designated cities’ and then for the rest of the country, use hybrids.

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