CAZ plans in other cities like Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh have had major rescheduling announced in recent weeks, so it’s long-been expected that Newcastle would follow suit. Much of the disruption is attributed to COVID, while Cllr Ainsely has told an overview and scrutiny committee that the government was “ill-prepared” for the implementation of the Zone.
Cllr Ainsely also detailed that Newcastle’s implementation had been facing additional disruption due to a legal dispute issued by a company that lost the bid to provide the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) that CAZ requires to function.
The CAZ, which will eventually enforce clean air tolls on high-polluting vehicles, is planned to cover an area around Newcastle city centre. Specifically, £50 charges will be in place for HGVs, buses and coaches, while vans and taxis will have to pay £12.50. However, Euro 4 standards grant vans and taxis an exemption, and Euro 6 standards grant the same privilege to HGVs, buses and coaches.
A joint statement from Newcastle and Gateshead councils confirmed: “Both councils are still under a legal obligation to put in place the measures that deliver required improvements, and while the government has accepted that there has to be a delay, they have reiterated that the obligation is to deliver the package of measures in the shortest possible time.”
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