'Sheffield Clean Air Zone is coming' - council re-commits to £24m scheme after concerns it could be delayed

Sheffield City Council has insisted it is committed to creating a Clean Air Zone after concerns some councillors wanted it cancelled or delayed.
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Coun Julie Grocutt, Labour co-chair of the transport, regeneration and climate policy committee, said she wanted to “reassure the people of Sheffield” the authority was standing by its commitment to the CAZ, which is set to start in February.

It comes after the Greens and others feared Labour was seeking to delay the scheme due to the cost of living crisis. The zone will charge non-compliant vans, taxis, coaches, buses and lorries to drive on or inside the inner ring road.

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Coun Grocutt added: "While this is a legal obligation from the Government to implement a Clean Air Zone, we as a council strongly support the reasons behind the scheme – making a positive impact on the health of Sheffield’s future in years to come.

Councillors Julie Grocutt, Labour, and Paul Turpin, Green.Councillors Julie Grocutt, Labour, and Paul Turpin, Green.
Councillors Julie Grocutt, Labour, and Paul Turpin, Green.

“We wish to protect the public from exposure to NO2 emissions from road traffic which can permanently damage children’s lungs, can cause strokes, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and more.

When will Sheffield’s Clean Air Zone come into effect and who will have to pay?

“Throughout this process we have continued to press Government for extra financial support for those affected by the scheme and as a result we have one of the best packages of any local authority, and we will be launching the applications to this soon.”

Coun Grocutt did not say what prompted her to make a statement. But Green councillor Paul Turpin said his party and others had put pressure on Labour to stick to what they had signed up to. The city council has confirmed no further delay is permitted unless expressly agreed by the secretary of state.

Clean Air Zone signs in SheffieldClean Air Zone signs in Sheffield
Clean Air Zone signs in Sheffield
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Sheffield City Council was offered £24m in early 2020 for a CAZ. Some £21m is to upgrade vehicles and £3m for signs and cameras. In August last year, the Government said £27.2m had been given to Sheffield and Rotherham to support a joint plan for a Clean Air Zone and other measures. Private cars, motorbikes or mopeds will not be charged for using it.

Air pollution contributes to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield and the biggest cause is transport, especially diesel vehicles, the council says.

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