Car tax: Cash offered to small businesses as Clean Air Zone set to hit Stoke-on-Trent

Sadiq Khan outlines why ULEZ has come into force in London

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Stoke-on-Trent City Council is proposing a chargeable ‘clean air zone’ (CAZ) stretching from Hanley to Fenton as part of a scheme to cut illegal levels of air pollution. The proposed CAZ would include much of Stoke-on-Trent city centre as well as Staffordshire University Leek Road Campus.

The southern end of Victoria Road in Fenton is one of three areas where a study found nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels will exceed the statutory limit if nothing is done.

The proposed Class C CAZ would see HGVs, buses, vans and taxis which do not meet emissions standards face a charge to enter.

Private vehicles would not be affected.

For taxis, the charge would affect diesel vehicles older than September 2015 and petrol vehicles made prior to January 2006.

Now the city council is encouraging businesses that operate vehicles into the city centre to consider this when they are upgrading their car and vans.

Councillor Carl Edwards, the city council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We are in discussion with the Government regarding a CAZ for Victoria Road and the city centre.

“A Class C CAZ is less restrictive because it allows private cars to travel through the area.

“We are still waiting for authorisation from the Government, and we are looking at around 2023 before it would be implemented.

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“We have got a two-year window of opportunity to get the word out to businesses and taxi drivers that, if they are going to replace their van or taxi, anything newer than those dates will not have to pay the charge.

“We can also apply for Clean Air Funding – a pot of money we can use to help small businesses and taxi drivers with a grant to help them upgrade their vehicles.

“We will be looking to engage with businesses and help them do this.

“We had a briefing session at the end of July and 2,000 letters have been posted through letter boxes in the area.”

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