Following in the footsteps of London, Leeds and Birmingham, Sheffield council has put forward plans to establish a clean air charging zone in the city, with £50 million of government cash sought to fund the move.
The clean air zone will aim to encourage the most polluting vehicles to upgrade to electric, hybrid or cleaner engines, with 2021 put forward as a possible launch year.
The oldest and most polluting taxis, buses, vans, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) would be affected by the pollution charge, with private cars currently exempt. Sheffield city council has asked for £50m of government funding to help drivers upgrade their vehicles to electric/hybrid.
Councillor Bob Johnson, cabinet member for planning and development at the council, said: “This is the start of a vitally important conversation for the city and we want everyone to have their say on the clean air zone and the support that is available. We know air pollution damages the health of us all, especially the very young and the very old, but we need to balance this with how we can support drivers with the cost of reducing their emissions.
“The facts are clear, taxi drivers, van drivers and other motorists are among the most at risk from breathing in dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide and we want to protect them and everyone else who lives in our fantastic city. We accept these are difficult conversations but they need to happen so we can improve our air quality.”