Today, Birmingham is the first city outside London to introduce a Clean Air Zone, which involves a charge for people driving into the city centre if they have older, more polluting cars.
Birmingham Green Party says the CAZ is an exercise in tackling air pollution sooner rather than later.
Councillor Julien Pritchard says: “Years of inaction on air pollution in Birmingham have put the council in a position where it is legally obliged to put some measures in place. The CAZ is its first attempt. But we have known for years that there are many parts of the city which break legal limits for air pollution, with damaging effects especially on children living in those areas. We urge Birmingham City Council to remember that air pollution is a problem for the whole city, not just the centre. We need action to tackle it across the city, because everyone needs clean air.”
The Green Party believes we need close monitoring of the effectiveness of the CAZ, to find out how much it reduces air pollution within the zone and whether air pollution is just shifted into other areas.
We urge Birmingham City Council to remember that air pollution is a problem for the whole city not just the city centre. We need action to tackle it across the city, because everyone deserves clean air.