No Clean Air Zone in Cardiff

There are a few issues that have had more airtime recently than the impending implementation of CAZs (Clean Air Zones) as part of the strategy to reduce emissions in our UK cities. While there’s absolutely no doubt a more environmentally friendly approach to managing congested cities is urgently required, there are many who believe that charging to enter these zones will put huge pressure on the infrastructure.

If you’re a delivery driver no doubt you’ve been following the topic with interest, and you may already be aware that a growing number of local councils are rejecting the CAZ and coming up with their own alternatives to solving the problem. Following hot on the heels of Southampton, Nottingham, and Derby, Cardiff Council is the latest to do so.

Tackling emissions without a CAZ

Back in January 2018, in a well-publicised case the organisation ClientEarth challenged the Welsh Government to reduce the levels of NO2 on Castle Street, in Cardiff, which were predicted to be higher than EU permitted levels by 2021. In a nutshell, the Government and ClientEarth came to an agreement and Cardiff Council was instructed to begin work on finding ways to begin reducing emissions levels immediately.

Finding a way…

Accordingly, Cardiff Council came up with a range of measures that they believed would tackle the issue in the fastest, most effective way. They include:

…Without a CAZ

The Council says these measures will not only rectify the problem on Castle Street, but also across the entire city – negating the need for a CAZ. They’ve called for the Welsh Government to provide funding ASAP and have rejected the proposal for a CAZ in the city.

But not everyone’s happy

Even though the Council’s decision to reject the clean air zone will come as music to the ears of many a Welsh delivery driver, not everyone is happy – to put it mildly. Chair of charity organisation Healthy Air Cymru has come out very vocally to decry the rejection of a CAZ, saying that implementing these zones is recognised as “one of the most effective means of reducing transport emissions.” He went on to say that the people of the city are being poisoned and that the zone was vital to protect them from even more dangerous levels of pollution in the future.

CAZs: yay or nay?

If you’re an independent delivery driver or fleet manager in the courier industry, the side of the fence on which you stand on the CAZ issue is probably pretty clear. But there are also quite a few people who agree with the stance taken by Healthy Air Cymru. Feel free to let us know your thoughts, because our differences are what make the industry go around…

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