Sheffield Clean Air Zone: Councillors approve city centre charge in 'historic' meeting

Leading Sheffield councillors approved plans for a Clean Air Zone that will see the most polluting buses, taxis, lorries and vans pay a daily charge to drive in the city centre.

Councillor Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield Council, said the decision – taken in a special co-operative executive meeting on October 26 – was historic.

It means that from next year, taxis and LGVs that do not meet the emission standard will be charged £10 a day and coaches, buses and HGVs will be charged £50 a day to drive in a zone that will cover the inner ring road and city centre.

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Coun Douglas Johnson, co-operative executive member for climate change, environment and transport, said: “It’s a step forward towards a much cleaner city, a much greener city and a city that people want to live in and you can live in because it’s going to be healthier with more to do for the future.

Sheffield city centre will have a Clean Air Zone from 2022

“It’s a really important step to clean up the air by introducing a Clean Air Zone, the other side of that is injecting millions of pounds into the local economy, into small businesses supporting taxis and businesses with vans. That’s a really good thing for the local economy as well as being a step change in how we live and what our city centre is for.”

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Air pollution contributes to 500 early deaths a year in Sheffield and parts of the city have exceeded legal limits of nitrogen dioxide since 2010.

Coun Johnson said this is expected to bring Sheffield back to legal levels of air pollution within the next few years but that will not necessarily mean the air is safe.

The Clean Air Zone will be enforced using automatic number plate recognition cameras.

All affected vehicles will need to meet the Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol emissions standard to avoid the charge.

Just under £24 million was given to deliver Sheffield and Rotherham’s Clean Air Plans. Of that, £3.5 million was allocated from the implementation fund, which will be used for setting up the charging zone and road schemes, and £20.4 million from the Clean Air Fund, which will be used to help drivers upgrade.

A consultation focusing on the support for drivers will begin in November.