Sheffield's Clean Air Zone set to rake in £8.46m a year from drivers - but Greens want it to go further

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Sheffield’s Clean Air Zone is forecast to catch about 2,000 drivers and rake in £23,000 every day, figures show.

The city council predicts it will make £705,000-a-month after it launches in February - some £8.46m-a-year. Greens leader, councillor Douglas Johnson, said the income figures were ‘not a target’ and the predicted number of daily charges was a 'small proportion' of vehicles using city centre roads, which he expected to reduce over time.

More than £20m has been set aside to help firms upgrade vehicles or buy new and the money ‘would really make a difference’, he added.

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But he wants the CAZ to go further and include cars, especially SUVs which ought to ‘pay more to society due to the health costs’ of pollution, he says. Polluting taxis and vans will pay £10 and buses and lorries £50. The boundary follows the inner ring road and even driving along it will be chargeable.

Greens leader Coun Douglas Johnson.Greens leader Coun Douglas Johnson.
Greens leader Coun Douglas Johnson.

Coun Johnson added: “Greens welcome the much-delayed launch of the grants scheme for cleaner taxis and vans that will make Sheffield’s polluted air cleaner across the whole city.

“Far too many vehicles still emit dangerous levels of pollution. That’s why Greens have consistently pushed for firm action on clean air for many years. As executive member last year, I was very proud to push through a cross-party decision to implement the Clean Air Plan. This meant getting millions of pounds in government grants out of the council’s bank account and paid to local businesses.

“Action on clean air is vital because it contributes to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield, causing strokes, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. Every month of delay that passes without action means more early deaths.

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“The Clean Air Zone won’t fix everything. City-wide pollution is still way above World Health Organisation guidelines. As Greens, we were disappointed when the then Labour administration ruled out any consideration of charging private cars, which make up 50 per cent of the pollution. It is hard to see why SUVs charging through city streets should be exempt when essential vehicles like buses, taxis and vans owned by small business are charged.”