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Decision expected next week on Sheffield CAZ

Sheffield City Council will decide on the proposed Clean Air Zone (CAZ) at a special Co-operative Executive meeting on October 26. 

If the decision passes, the council will create a Category CAZ, accepting £24m of Government funding to help local drivers upgrade to cleaner vehicles. 

Sheffield – like most cities in England – currently has illegal levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2). There is a legal obligation to reduce roadside emissions from older, polluting vehicles in the shortest time possible.

Under a category C CAZ,  the most polluting buses, taxis, vans, coaches and lorries will pay a charge to enter the city centre. Private vehicles will be exempt. 

Sheffield’s proposed charges are £10 a day for LGVs and taxis, and £50 a day for buses, coaches and HGVs.

Before the zone is introduced, a second citywide consultation will take place in November. This will focus on packages of support to help local businesses and taxi drivers to retrofit or upgrade vehicles. 

brown and gray concrete fountain near brown concrete building during daytime

Funding will also be available to help local taxi drivers and businesses upgrade to electric or ultra-low-emissions (ULEV) vehicles.

These include:

  • Up to £10,000 grants for electric/ULEV wheelchair-accessible hackney carriages.
  • Up to £3,000 grants for local private hire taxi drivers up upgrade to electric or ultra-low emissions vehicles.
  • Up to £3,500 grants for local businesses to upgrade to electric or ultra-low emissions vans.

Cllr Douglas Johnson, Executive Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport said: ‘Clean air benefits us all and none more so than those who have to drive in it.  It’s in our power to reduce air pollution, which means it’s in our power to save lives. Air pollution contributes to the early deaths of 500 people every year in Sheffield It particularly affects young children and people with underlying respiratory conditions.

‘The Clean Air Zone means we support small businesses and taxi owners to upgrade their vehicles, to get older, dirty vehicles off the road and to clean up the city. There are exemptions for those who fall between the gaps. It forms part of the broader city centre strategy, including better public transport, better walking and cycling routes and better spaces for people to work, live and play.

‘We believe this will end months of uncertainty for the taxi trade and give them a clear steer for the standards that will be expected for today’s taxi fleet.’

Photo by Raygar He

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