‌Newcastle‌ ‌Clean‌‌ Air‌ ‌Zone‌ faces an indefinite delay

After missing the initial deadline on January, the `Clean Air Zone` project has been delayed.

George Boatfield
11th November 2020
The Newcastle Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has been put on hold indefinitely following challenges in meeting the initial January deadline. Arlene Ainsley, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for Transport and Air Quality, announced the delay on Thursday 22 October.

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.”

Featured Image: @MetroRadioNews via Twitter

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