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Business News


Sponsored by: Invest Northern Ireland


Support for businesses ahead of Clean Air Zone


See.Sense - bringing


technology and people together to make cycling safer


With the further easing of restrictions allowing shops and businesses to re-open, it is a chance to re-imagine our public spaces and re-energise our towns and cities. Providing greater choices for


active and sustainable travel is an important part of this, and businesses can really help by encouraging employees who commute for short journeys, to choose active travel, such as cycling or walking. See.Sense is proud to


launch an innovative new scheme in Birmingham and across cities globally that not only encourages, but enables your employees to cycle, by providing much needed data insights that will help Birmingham transport planners design and plan for safe and connected cycle infrastructure. Employees receive a high-


quality See.Sense bike light that helps improve their safety by reacting to their environment to flash brighter and faster at moments of risk, and provides the data insights needed by planners to improve cycle infrastructure on their routes. As an employer, you get


access to a data dashboard that provides you with data to support your ESG goals, such as reducing emissions and offering incentives to employees, possibly improving retention. The data gathered can also


help your employees learn about the best/safest routes to your workplace. The past year has been


hugely challenging but it has also presented an opportunity to do things differently and better. Reach out to See.Sense today to find out more.


Contact: team@seesense.cc for more information.


22 CHAMBERLINK June 2021 By Jessica Brookes


The launch of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone is an “important step” in tackling the longstanding crisis of poor air pollution in the city, business leaders have said after the city’s mandated zone charges came into force this month. Drivers of the most polluting


vehicles in Birmingham will be charged to enter the city, within the A4540 Middleway. Raj Kandola, head of policy at


Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, commented that a raft of information and resources has been made available for firms impacted by the implementation of the zone. He said: “With dangerous levels of


air pollution contributing to hundreds of deaths a year in the city, the launch of the Clean Air Zone will be an important step in helping to tackle this longstanding crisis. “We’ve worked closely with Birmingham City Council to help businesses prepare for the start of the zone and secure financial assistance where needed. “Our Business Toolkit can be


found on our website and offers a raft of information on how businesses can access financial support, upgrade their vehicles and raise awareness of the zone.” In further efforts to support


residents and businesses, Birmingham City Council launched a Clean Air Zone Vehicle Scrappage and Travel Credit Scheme. The £10m scheme aims to


support people working in the Clean Air Zone, and who earn less than £30,000 per year, with the option of scrapping a vehicle that would otherwise be subject to the daily fee. In return for scrapping a vehicle, successful applicants to the scheme receive a £2,000 grant which can be used on a ‘travel credit’ or to purchase a vehicle that meets the emission standards of the Clean Air Zone.


Inset: Raj Kandola Main Picture: The Clean Air Zone boundary


CLEAN AIR ZONE FACT SHEET


• Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone will cover all roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road but not the Middleway itself


• Only the most polluting vehicles will be charged to enter


• Diesel vehicles of Euro 6 standard or better, petrol or LPG vehicles or Euro 4 standard or better, gas vehicles of Euro 6 standard or better, fully electric and hybrid electric vehicles, (the diesel/petrol engine must meet the relevant criteria listed) will NOT be charged to enter


• The Clean Air Zone will only charge the most polluting vehicles, it is NOT a congestion charge


• Private cars, taxis and vans will be charged £8 a day • Buses, coaches and lorries will be charged £50 a day • The Zone operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year • One financial charge is applied per 24-hour period


• Payments can be made six days before the day of travel and up to six days after the day of travel


• Vehicles entering the zone will be picked up by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. Failure to pay on time will result in a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of up to £120


Funding for five air quality projects


The University of Birmingham-led Transition Clean Air Network has awarded £48,000 to fund five new research projects aimed at improving air quality by reducing harmful transport emissions. The five projects, led by both commercial and academic organisations, aim to characterise changing travel patterns, measure exposure to pollution in different transport modes, progress real-time identification of pollution sources, reduce the emissions of pollutants from so-called ‘zero-emission’ vehicles and minimise public exposure at the roadside.


It comes after the UK Government announced it has


set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. Dr Suzanne Bartington, Transition lead investigator


and public health clinician and environmental epidemiologist at the University of Birmingham, said: “We are delighted to fund these innovative projects spanning UK road, rail and bus transport. The outputs will advance our knowledge, understanding and tools to reduce health harms of transport emissions.”


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