Sheffield milk firm Our Cow Molly facing £28,600 Clean Air Zone charges

A Sheffield dairy boss fears the Clean Air Zone could cost his business £28,600-a-year.
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Eddie Andrew says he has three Our Cow Molly vans delivering to Sheffield city centre set to cost £450-a-week in charges. Suppliers to his farm in Dungworth who travel through the CAZ have said they could pass on the fee through price rises - which could total a further £100.

The zone goes live on February 27 charging ‘polluting’ vans and cabs £10-a-day and buses and lorries £50. Businesses have had since December 12 to access £24m funding to help with buying newer vehicles, or converting old ones to electric.

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The milk firm runs refrigerated vans, making upgrades slower and more expensive, Mr Andrew said. His only hope is to get ‘specialist vehicle’ exemptions from Sheffield City Council, so they don’t have to pay.

Eddie Andrew, of Our Cow Molly in Sheffield.Eddie Andrew, of Our Cow Molly in Sheffield.
Eddie Andrew, of Our Cow Molly in Sheffield.

He added: “We are not against the CAZ but if we have to pay £550-a-week it’s not worth it. Three years ago I told councillors I would need a year to get sorted, but we got less than three months, that’s the bit that annoys me most.”

Mr Andrew said it took a year to find their latest van. Our Cow Molly vehicles also need refrigeration and insulation costing £5,700. The city council is offering firms £14,000 towards new lorries, about a fifth of what would be required, he says. And the business is currently investing in a new barn.

Mr Andrew said Sheffield City Council chief executive Kate Josephs visited him after he complained about his plight on Twitter.

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He added: “I was very impressed by that. But our only hope is to get an exemption until we can buy new vehicles when we can afford to. But I do think the CAZ is sensible, air pollution is definitely affecting people.”

Our Cow Molly vans on deliveries around SheffieldOur Cow Molly vans on deliveries around Sheffield
Our Cow Molly vans on deliveries around Sheffield

Officials estimate between 71,000 and 100,000 vehicles will enter the CAZ each day and about two per cent will be charged, raising about £8.5m-a-year. The boundary follows the inner ring road. Any surpluses must be reinvested in other clean air measures in the city. It has been criticised for excluding cars while charging vehicles on ‘essential’ journeys such as buses.