The official publication of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

LINK Cannock Chase

Chamber of Commerce

Editor’s View

By John Lamb

Better public transport can ease pain of CAZ

Sutton Coldfield

Chamber of Commerce

Greater Birmingham

Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce

I Greater Birmingham

Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce

Front cover: Peter Kienast, general manager at The Grand Hotel. See page 20

Editor John Lamb 0121 274 3237, 0797 1144064

Deputy Editor Dan Harrison 0121 274 3239, 0797 1144052

Reporter Jessica Brookes 0750 8317356

Reporter Claudia Congrave 0775 7798567

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have to admit it. My car’s a bad boy diesel. But it has all the modern gizmos to pass the tests that allow it into Birmingham now that

the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has kicked in. By the way, a colleague who is an expert on

CAZs, tells me that the DVLA has changed regulations and it is best to re-check if your vehicle is still compliant. I’ve checked, and it’s still ok and can travel into Birmingham – and Bath for that matter – without charge, saving £8 a day. It’s only the second diesel-powered vehicle I

have owned, all the others being petrol. But I can’t help feeling a degree of guilt when I

hear of friends and colleagues who have gone electric or at least part of the way there.

‘The Chamber has worked closely with Birmingham City Council to help businesses prepare for the start of the zone and secure financial assistance where needed’

Am I really destroying the world with my two- Published by

litre gas guzzler? Not that it has done much damage since I bought it eight months ago. It’s hardly been off the drive since we were forced by you-know-what to give up commuting into Birmingham at least five days a week. The savings have been enormous and, as for

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many people, the biggest blow of having to return to the office will be expense of filling up the tank every week.

However, the prospect of being permanently

back in the office any time soon does seem remote. Of course, most of us would leave our cars at

home if there was an effective public transport system. And, thankfully, we are getting our act together in Birmingham. Joining the vastly improved bus network will soon be the extended Metro system. And when the Midland Metro stretches from

New Street Station to Five Ways I will have little excuse for not using public transport because from then on it’s but a short walk to the office. I will still have to drive two miles to the station

at the other end of the journey and the bonus is that parking is free. Perhaps that old bike will have to hit the roads again. Any nervousness about travelling on public

transport in the wake of the pandemic should be assuaged soon as more people are vaccinated. And judging by the number of people who are trying to travel abroad on airplanes, the bus, train and tram operators should have no problem. The introduction of CAZ into Birmingham (see

page 22) is an important step in dealing with the poor air quality that has blighted the city for so long. That is why the Chamber has 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 among their networks. Happy travelling!

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