Just as London implemented the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to combat pollution and improve the overall health of its residents, Birmingham followed suit with its own Clean Air Zone (CAZ). This came into effect back in June 2021 in an effort to tackle dangerous levels of air pollution.
In this guide, we'll explain everything you need to know about the Clean Air Zone, including what it is, who needs to pay, how to avoid paying, and more.
What is Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone?
The Clean Air Zone is a designated area inside the A4540 Middleway Ring Road where drivers of the most polluting vehicles are charged to drive in an attempt to improve air quality. The zone is operational every day, 24 hours a day, and is marked by signs to indicate its boundaries.
Who needs to pay the CAZ fee?
If you drive a vehicle within Birmingham’s CAZ that does not meet certain emissions standards, you will need to pay a fee. This includes vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4/IV for petrol engines or Euro 6/VI for diesel engines emissions standards. However, there are a few exemptions.
Temporary exemption permits may be available for residents or workers in the Clean Air Zone, and medical exemptions are available, with vouchers that can be collected to cover the Clean Air Zone charge for medical appointments.
How can you avoid paying Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone?
The easiest way to avoid paying is to switch to alternative modes of transportation, such as walking, cycling, or using public transport. Birmingham has an extensive public transport system, which includes trains, buses, trams, and bikes for hire. If you must drive, consider upgrading to a vehicle that meets the emissions standards required to avoid the fee.
What happens if you don't pay the CAZ fee?
The penalty charge for not paying the Clean Air Zone fee is £120, which can be reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days. It's important to note that there are cameras inside the Clean Air Zone to identify vehicles that need to pay, so it's not recommended to try to avoid paying.
The money collected from the fees goes towards funding projects that support the reduction of air pollution.
The Clean Air Zone is an important initiative aimed at reducing air pollution in Birmingham. While it may seem like an inconvenience to some drivers, it's important to remember that the health benefits of improving air quality are worth the effort. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can help contribute to a cleaner, safer city.