A month after the implementation of the Clean Air Zone policy in Sheffield, and many people are still against it.
The Clean Air Zone policy, which was launched February 27th, covers an area of the city centre and requires drivers of non-compliant vehicles to pay a daily charge to enter.
Charlie Harrison, 31, private car owner, said: “I don’t have faith in this policy. It’s not going to benefit the city because drivers will just choose different routes to avoid the charges, somehow it makes other routes more crowded.”
The policy aims to improve air quality and reduce emissions from high-polluting vehicles.
The charges will apply to older diesel and petrol cars, taxis, and vans that do not meet emission standards. Private cars and motorcycles are exempted.
Mohammad Nisar, a 36-year-old taxi driver said: “It’s unfair that private cars don’t pay the charges, there are way more old private cars driving around the city centre than taxis or vans, we can only get clean air if all cars pay the same amount, it’s only the government’s way of making money.”
Non-compliant vehicles travelling within the clean air zone must pay daily fees ranging from £10 to £50, depending on the type of vehicle.
Larger vehicles pay the most, while larger campervans and motorhomes may qualify for a discounted rate of £10.
The council hopes that this policy will encourage people to switch to low-emission vehicles and public transport.
The council states that the funds from the charge will go towards the upkeep of the zone and reducing air pollution in the city.
The council has also announced plans to invest in public transport and cycling infrastructure to make it easier for people to travel around the city without a car.
However, critics argue that this policy unfairly targets lower-income individuals who cannot afford to upgrade or buy a new car.
The Sheffield Clean Air Zone Policy is part of the UK government’s strategy to meet air quality targets and reduce carbon emissions.
Sheffield is not the first city in the UK to have this policy. Other cities including London and Birmingham, are implementing clean air zones to tackle air pollution.