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Brum's Clean Air Plan Finally Agreed, Property Holds Its Breath


A new clean air zone, with charges that apply 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, will be operating in Birmingham from 1 June 2021. The decision comes after several delays for legal and technological reasons.

The zone is one of a number of policy moves that will change the way a traditionally car-worshiping city works.

The Birmingham commercial property business is watching, supportive of a reduction in car ownership but uneasy about the speed of the change, and a raft of measures coming into effect simultaneously.

So far there is scant evidence that car-related charging damages the office market: Nottingham’s workplace parking levy is said to have had no effect.

Birmingham’s clean air zone will cover an area of the city inside the inner ring road (A4540 Middleway), and once live will mean that the owners of the most polluting vehicles, which account for around 25% of the vehicles on Birmingham’s roads, will need to pay a daily charge to drive into or through the Clean Air Zone.  

The new zone comes with exceptions for residents who live inside the zone (who get a two-year exemption for free), and for employees who work in the zone but who earn less than £30K a year (they get a year’s exemption). Taxi drivers and others get modest help replacing high-pollution vehicles.

The full list of exceptions can be found here.