Clean Air Zone consultation now live
We are very pleased to see the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) consultation is now open, after the lengthy process of the plans for Sheffield being devised locally and then given the green light for consultation by central Government. We are encouraging everyone in Sheffield to contribute to the consultation. NB there are different sets of questions for members of the public, taxi drivers and businesses, so make sure you click the button that applies to you. The consultation closes on the 25th of August
Whilst we have doubts as to whether the CAZ on its own will solve all the air pollution problems in our city, it will make a useful contribution, combined with vital measures such as good public transport and enabling active travel.
Under the CAZ scheme, some support will be provided to those who need to upgrade their commercial non-compliant vehicles. High up-front costs will also be offset by savings in fuel costs thereafter. Plus regular drivers have much to gain from breathing cleaner air around the city’s roads.
On balance, the decision not to charge any private cars to enter the CAZ seems justified. People with the lowest incomes are the most likely to be driving older, non-compliant cars. Including private cars in the CAZ charges would also have raised the question of supporting private owners towards buying compliant cars. Right now we need to be encouraging a reduction in car usage, by giving the people of Sheffield clean, affordable, reliable alternatives in the form of improved public transport and active travel facilities.
In view of the seriousness of both the air pollution and climate crises, we believe it is time to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy, so that employers are incentivised to support reduction in car use through measures such as bike schemes and car shares.
Further, we hope to see the Council’s public awareness efforts continue.