Sheffield Clean Air Zone: Petition launched to abandon plans for daily city centre charge

Dozens of people have signed a petition calling on Sheffield Council to abandon its Clean Air Zone plans over concerns about city centre footfall.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 8:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 8:30 pm

The Clean Air Zone is set to be implemented next year and it will mean that drivers of taxis, lorries, buses, coaches and vans will have to pay a daily charge to drive in the city centre if their vehicle does not meet the Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol emissions standard.

Taxis and vans that do not meet the emission standards will be charged £10 a day and coaches, buses and lorries will be charged £50 a day.

Jonathan Jones started a petition – which will run from November 28 until January 9 – to scrap it.

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Map of where the most polluting vehicles will be charged in Sheffield Council\\\'s Clean Air Zone for the city centre. © Crown copyright and database rights 2021 OS licence number 100018816.

In his petition statement he said: “This plan will seriously damage trade and footfall into an already struggling city centre. It does not take into account tourism across the city to access the Peak District nor the appalling effect Meadowhall has had on retail in Sheffield.

“The irony of a council who tried to destroy the main means of keeping Sheffield’s air clean in the form of our trees taking a measure which has little scientific basis in terms of meteorological research into wind direction is breathtaking.”

So far, 28 people have signed the petition which can be found here: democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=10241&RPID=6507930&HPID=6507930

Sheffield was ordered by the Government to drastically reduce air pollution as soon as possible as the city has exceeded legal levels of nitrogen dioxide for more than 10 years and air pollution is contributing to 500 early deaths a year.

Buses that do not meet the emission standard will be charged £50 a day to drive in the city centre from 2022 under Sheffield Council's Clean Air Zone plan.

Sheffield was given £20.4 million of funding to support upgrades through grants and loans.

There will be up to £16,000 available for drivers of buses, coaches, lorries and other large vehicles to go towards retrofitting or buying or leasing a replacement vehicle.

For van drivers, up to £1,000 will be available to upgrade to a compliant diesel or petrol van, or £3,500 to upgrade to electric.

Taxi drivers will get up to £1,500 to upgrade to a compliant diesel or petrol van or £3,000 to upgrade to an electric vehicle.

More money will be available for hackney carriage taxis to reflect the higher cost of making vehicles fully wheelchair accessible.

This will be:

Up to £5,000 to upgrade to a replacement compliant petrol or diesel vehicle Up to £4,000 to retrofit a drivers’ current Euro 5 vehicle to become complaint Up to £10,000 to upgrade to an electric or zero-emissions capable vehicle

Owners of licensed hackney carriages also have the option to hand in their licence for their non-compliant taxi and trade in their plates in return for £4,000.

The consultation, which is open until December 17, focuses on the support that will be available to help drivers upgrade to cleaner vehicles to avoid the charge.

It can be found here: www.sheffield.gov.uk/cleanair