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Thread: Clean Air Zones - What are the impacts?

  1. #1
    Grand Master
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    Clean Air Zones - What are the impacts?

    The Clean Air Zone around Newcastle has been approved by Newcastle Council (still to be voted on by Gateshead and North Tyneside Councils). I have my own thoughts on what the impacts will be (below) and I'd like to hear from people who have experienced the same or similar in their cities. What went well and what could be better? Impacts on local businesses?

    Buses and HGVs will be charged £50 a day and vans and taxis £12.50 a day to enter the zone. The Tyne Bridge will be reduced to one lane each way “to discourage drivers”. The Tyne Bridge area and routes are absolutely horrific for traffic and I can't begin to imagine how bad it'll be when the queues double! I don't use those routes daily but feel sorry for those who do. Charging private cars hasn’t been approved but remains a consideration meaning it’s in the post!

    I think people using services and shopping in the zone will see prices rise immediately as rising costs are passed on to consumers. Some local businesses will fold. Traffic levels, which are already horrendous during rush hour especially on the ring-road around the city centre that feeds the Tyne Bridge, will double as people WILL NOT leave their cars at home and use public transport. Generally, people’s lives aren’t conducive to being restricted like that and the public transport system is old, poor quality and expensive.

    These schemes work in major cities because infrastructure and public transport are heavily invested in to achieve a rounded solution. We are not a major city. We are a provincial northern backwater with some of the poorest citizens in the UK. We also have rival public transport companies who need to make profits, not a joined up system like London. We have the most unreliable (and over-priced) metro system imaginable with trains late and/or cancelled daily and throughout the day.

    A mate has a very successful supply business which needs to be somewhat reactive to customer needs on a daily basis. He regularly has to have five or six vans in and traversing the city centre every day to meet client demand. That's £1300 a month he'll have to pass on to customers.

    I can only see Newcastle City Centre dying. We already have low-cost, low-quality shops (Shoe Zone FGS) on our main shopping street (Northumberland Street) as we can't attract 'better' retailers.

    The only winners are the bus companies who will increase prices for their already high-cost-low-quality services and Metro Centre as people go there to shop / cinema / eat instead.

    An awful, awful decision. I have no doubt that Newcastle Council will be receiving massive grants to do this and financial incentives that will ensure they’re in profit when it’s all in place.

    I took part in the consultation exercise so I've had my say. That went well :(
    Last edited by TaketheCannoli; 10th January 2020 at 14:32.

  2. #2
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    I thought the toll only applied if your van did not meet Euro-4 not every journey?

  3. #3
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    Itís my understanding that itís every vehicle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alansmithee View Post
    I thought the toll only applied if your van did not meet Euro-4 not every journey?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Itís my understanding that itís every vehicle.
    Fortunately not - Euro 4 for petrol and euro 6 for diesel.

    https://www.breathe-cleanair.com/wha...at-is-proposed

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  5. #5
    Master Alansmithee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    Itís my understanding that itís every vehicle.


    Where are you getting that from? Because it's not in the proposal - that says they want to introduce a Category C zone:


    Within a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ), drivers of certain vehicles are charged if their vehicle doesnít meet minimum emissions standards.


    Charges only apply to the most polluting, often older vehicles.


    The type of vehicle that would be affected depends on the level of the CAZ.


    The level of CAZ that we are considering is a category C. This would apply to all buses, coaches, taxis, HGVs and vans that do not meet emissions standards.
    The government does not allow you to charge vehicles that meet emission standards (Type C are on page 29 on this document).

  6. #6
    I live in Bristol where they propose a diesel ban in the central area. I donít have a problem with it per se (even though i drive a diesel) if it improves air quality to the standards they claim. But i do have a problem with the lack of alternatives, the public transport needs to be cheapish and efficient - it isnít. I need a solution for a battery/hybrid/electric vehicle to match mine (long distance diesel usage) and that doesnít seem to exist yet/price i can afford.

  7. #7
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    I live in Bristol where they propose a diesel ban in the central area. I donít have a problem with it per se (even though i drive a diesel) if it improves air quality to the standards they claim. But i do have a problem with the lack of alternatives, the public transport needs to be cheapish and efficient - it isnít. I need a solution for a battery/hybrid/electric vehicle to match mine (long distance diesel usage) and that doesnít seem to exist yet/price i can afford.
    I heard it was a diesel tax/charge in Bristol - not a ban (from a cab driver so must be accurate info)

  8. #8
    Itís not just going to be certain cities. It will be everywhere. As a working man, manual, landscaping, I donít particularly need, or can afford a ďnewĒ vehicle, but yet here I am on a watch forum!!!( Itís been pointed out to me before as being ironic, but that doesnít mean I have £4/5k to drop on a watch) Naturally Iím restricted to diesel - Iíve a Toyota Hilux. Sure a new vehicle would be nice, but when it picks up dents/scratches from inconsiderate people loading it up or unloading tools etc, it affects the condition/value. Iím quite anal about this, and prefer to do such myself before others.

    Weíve currently got it echoing the congestion charge in London, unless euro4/6, however April 2021 itís being expanded to South Circular. I shall be screwed then, as I straddle this for work and using it to avoid sitting in traffic for ages.

    I get that people have this furore about clean air, but to suddenly start banning traffic from city centres? Oh no wait, thatís wrong... you can still use your filthy, toxic , polluting vehicles - itís just £12.50 a day to do so. Simply just another tax.

    Me, Iím not a businessman. I just happen to be very good at what I do and go out to undertake commissions in peoples garden. I was chatting to an ex carpenter who ran his own business who put me straight. Clearly a businessman?
    His take, rather than pay your £12.5 a day 6 days a week,£75, or £300 a month to the council/government, lease a vehicle for that £300, which obviously is tax deductible, and you put it on the cost of the day rate/job.

    So there you go - cost just passed on, someone else has to pay.
    As to the OP yes, it will affect everyday business, running costs etc.
    For sure though, it will be coming to City or town near you...

  9. #9
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    I have two small kids. Viewing the problem from their perspective, or from anyoneís whoís going to still be alive in the 22nd century, it would indeed by nice if there was some clean air left by then. Then again, Iím not so sure these Ďclean air zonesí are the solution.


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by WolfiesPapa View Post
    I have two small kids. Viewing the problem from their perspective, or from anyoneís whoís going to still be alive in the 22nd century, it would indeed by nice if there was some clean air left by then. Then again, Iím not so sure these Ďclean air zonesí are the solution.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    I get that, I really do. It is an issue. TFLs answer, thanks to Boris and carried on by Sadiq, is to tax people. You can still
    polite the air but it will only cost you £12.50 a day. Iím sure the 1000s of busses donít help? Not all taxis are new? Planes flying out of the airports...Mmm.
    The easy short term partial fix is to blame and tax the motorist. Longer term mind, when most vehicles will be electric, the issue wonít be there.

  11. #11
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Cleaning anything on this planet, be it the air or the ocean, is going to cost money. A lot of it.
    So we'll have to pay. And some people will get very rich.

    The issue isn't the £12.50: if they were affected to a fund and used specifically for depolluting, I would have absolutely no problem with it.

    But they are used to discourage drivers. Who are past caring, being forced to pay taxes left, right and centre.
    So yes, those who can will just shrug it off and pass the cost down; others will just be a little poorer.
    But unless the tax comes with a significant improvement in public transports and their costs, it will do jack shit for the air
    Don't take my silence for agreement. I've just realised you're too stupid to argue with.

  12. #12
    I think itís all very sensible and the only logical thing to do in the long term. However Iím not sure how much harm my 8000 miles a year in a small diesel car in the U.K is doing when I havenít been on a plane in over 10 years, and other enormous nations are still polluting the atmosphere like thereís no tomorrow. Once again we wring our hands and get taxed to the hilt whilst huge swathes of the world carry on regardless it seems


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  13. #13
    We need to price goods properly so it includes the environmental costs of clean up/recovery.

    The price plastic bottle of coke, or a litre of fuel should have built in to it the cost of recovery, recycling and getting us back to carbon neutral.

    It should not be possible to steal the future by having these stupidly cheap products generate huge profits for companies who are destroying the planet and don't have to pay a cent for the privilege.

    Clean air zones should be across the entire country. Poisonous fumes are killing thousands and very few people care.

  14. #14
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    We need to price goods properly so it includes the environmental costs of clean up/recovery.

    The price plastic bottle of coke, or a litre of fuel should have built in to it the cost of recovery, recycling and getting us back to carbon neutral.

    It should not be possible to steal the future by having these stupidly cheap products generate huge profits for companies who are destroying the planet and don't have to pay a cent for the privilege.

    Clean air zones should be across the entire country. Poisonous fumes are killing thousands and very few people care.
    Petrol is already taxed to death. The problem is, that money goes straight to the exchequer and the environment won't see a penny of it. This is the real issue.
    Don't take my silence for agreement. I've just realised you're too stupid to argue with.

  15. #15
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    Cleaning anything on this planet, be it the air or the ocean, is going to cost money. A lot of it.
    So we'll have to pay. And some people will get very rich.

    The issue isn't the £12.50: if they were affected to a fund and used specifically for depolluting, I would have absolutely no problem with it.

    But they are used to discourage drivers. Who are past caring, being forced to pay taxes left, right and centre.
    So yes, those who can will just shrug it off and pass the cost down; others will just be a little poorer.
    But unless the tax comes with a significant improvement in public transports and their costs, it will do jack shit for the air
    Wise words.

    Or to quote a comedian I heard on the radio the other day,

    "congestion charge? That worked didn't it?"
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    Wise words.

    Or to quote a comedian I heard on the radio the other day,

    "congestion charge? That worked didn't it?"
    Lol. The only thing thatís worked for is the coffers.

    To echo SJ thoughts, where would the funds go? I a distrusting soul at the best of times, but suspect it would be pished right up against the wall, or a slightly less pollution free wind...

  17. #17
    where would the funds go?
    You canít really look at it as a reciprocal tax. The council tax goes on roads/transport yet plenty of tax payers donít own a car. I have never used a library or a lesbian mum pop in centre but iím Happy for my tax to fund them along with the huge sports centre down the road that Iím never going to set foot in.

    As for the congestion charge? Itís reduced traffic in central London and it definitely needs to be brought further out. Motorists are going to whinge but there are big changes coming and the days of selfishly whizzing around in huge polluting steel boxes are numbered, better get used to it.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    You canít really look at it as a reciprocal tax.
    Thats right. Because you can choose not to use the vehicle/pay. Or you can still pay the money and choose to pollute and add to ill health.

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