Clean Air Zone: Fury as Sheffield mini bus firm misses out on grants after £40,000 upgrades

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The scheme closed in July

The boss of a Sheffield mini bus firm has been left fuming after he paid £40,000 to upgrade vehicles and then discovered a Clean Air Zone support fund to help with the cost had closed.

Ky Moynihan, of Ky’s Executive Travel in Hillsborough, said he "finally forked out" the huge sum after a long battle with the authority and dozens of disputed fines.

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Ky Moynihan of Ky’s Executive Travel is in dispute with the council over Clean Air Zone grants.Ky Moynihan of Ky’s Executive Travel is in dispute with the council over Clean Air Zone grants.
Ky Moynihan of Ky’s Executive Travel is in dispute with the council over Clean Air Zone grants. | National world

He claims he was told he could apply for cash to help with the costs of upgrading to less polluting mini buses.

But when he went on the website he found a message stating the scheme closed on July 14.

Ky said: "After having a meeting, I was told I can apply for the grants to help with some of these costs. Now I’ve received the disappointing news the grants no longer count for companies who have already bought vehicles. 

"This is a total knock-back for my company financially and I am totally disappointed with Sheffield City Council.

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"I find this totally disgusting as I have used over £40,000 to upgrade my fleet to compliant vehicles now to be turned down."

The Clean Air Zone launched on February 27, 2023. It charges older vans and cabs £10-a-day and buses and lorries £50. The boundary follows the inner ring road.

The council received £24m from government to help businesses upgrade.

A spokesman said the 'Already Replaced' grants were for people who sold a vehicle and bought a compliant one between the council confirming the CAZ and when the grant scheme launched, in December 2022.

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It was originally due to close on June 29 but was extended to July 14 due to demand.

He added: "Nearly 1,000 applications were submitted, of which 680 were considered eligible for support. To date, 179 grant payments have been made with 501 currently being processed."

Mr Moynihan last year racked up more than £5,000 from fines for entering the zone, but insisted they were trips taking children to school which are exempt. But his appeals were rejected "without explanation".

The CAZ raked in £3.3m in fees and fines in its first eight months. The council says there has been a two-thirds drop in polluting vehicles.

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