The RAC has claimed that the government’s delayed Clean Air Zone (CAZ) vehicle checking website is giving out inaccurate information.
The government finally launched the delayed website last week (February 5), which was blamed for the postponement of the Leeds and Birmingham CAZs.
The tool allows drivers to find out if they will be affected by the change which will charge the most polluting vehicles to drive in the cities. Motorists can input their vehicle’s registration number to find out if it is compliant or not.
However, the RAC has tested the tool and said they were concerned with its accuracy.
The Leeds and Birmingham CAZs will be based on London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone standards, but the website shows that some early Euro 6 diesel vehicles are not compliant for Birmingham’s CAZ but are for the ULEZ, according to the RAC.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: ”We have some concerns about how effective this “beta” website currently is in checking the compliance of every vehicle.
‘In short, a number plate is not a reliable way of finding out a car’s Euro emissions standards so we recommend drivers double-check with their vehicle manufacturer to be sure.’
A government spokesperson said: ‘The website has only just been released and we are learning from customer feedback. It’s very helpful that this has been brought to our attention early and we’re working quickly to iron out these teething problems.’
Further problems with the website could threaten to delay the ‘go live’ dates of both the Leeds and Birmingham CAZ.
Last week, Leeds City Council said it will update its ‘go live’ date next month and hasn’t ruled out delaying it past the current launch date of July 2020.
Leeds’ Class B CAZ will cover over half of Leeds city centre, with HGVs, buses and coaches set to be charged £50 per day for travelling in the zone if they fail to meet the minimum emissions standards.
Taxis and private hire vehicles will be charged £12.50 per day, or a reduced rate of £50 per week if the vehicles are licensed in Leeds.
Birmingham will implement a Class D CAZ, which will charge high polluting private vehicles and taxis to enter the city centre, as well as HGVs, buses and coaches.
The CAZ, which will cover all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road. Private cars, taxis and vans are set to pay £8 per day and HGVs, coaches and buses charged £50 per day to enter.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: ‘We welcome the long-awaited vehicle compliance checker from the government and to support the introduction of this important tool the government has created a dedicated help desk, which is ready to deal with any enquiries about vehicle compliance. The details for this help desk are on the vehicle checker website.’