June 12, 2020
The Joint Air Quality Unit has confirmed that the government will postpone the implementation of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) until 2021.
A Clean Air Zone is an area where there are targeted measures to reduce the emissions including charges for vehicles driving in the area.
In a letter to key industry stakeholders the unit confirmed they will work with local authorities to delay introducing CAZs until after the Covid-19 outbreak response.
Due to the response time to the current pandemic being unpredictable the timetable for the introduction of CAZs is under review to ensure it is not too soon or delayed unnecessarily however the unit expects them to be no earlier than January 2021.
Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have also decided to postpone the implementation of their city centre zero emission zone (ZEZ) due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the city. The zone was due to be implemented in December 2020 but has now been pushed back. Alongside this, the councils have also cancelled the current consultation. Feedback that was already submitted will be saved and anyone who had already responded to the consultation will be contacted when the process resumes in the future.
The council plan to reopen consultation in late 2020 with a view to implementing the ZEZ in the summer of 2021.
Birmingham, Leeds, Derby, Nottingham and Southampton all also had plans to introduce Clean Air Zones this year that have been delayed.