As part of its preparations for the launch of the Clean Air Zone on 1 June 2021 Birmingham City Council has to date issued just over £1 million in Clean Air Zone grants to Birmingham-licensed hackney carriage and private hire drivers.
The grant scheme, which aims to support Birmingham-licensed hackney carriage and private hire drivers to upgrade or replace vehicles that do not meet the emission standards for the Clean Air Zone, is part of a larger £35 million package of financial incentives to support Birmingham’s transition to cleaner air.
Almost £15 million of this funding is dedicated to supporting Birmingham’s taxi community. To date Clean Air Zone hackney carriage and private hire scheme has supported 816 vehicle owners with grants to the value of £1,139,740.
Stephen Arnold, Head of Clean Air Zone at Birmingham City Council said: “We recognise the challenges Birmingham’s taxi drivers and some other groups could have in getting ready for the introduction of the Clean Air Zone on 1 June. The package of support available, which includes temporary exemptions and financial incentives, will help to make this change easier.
“We are pleased with the progress made so far. But with the launch of the Clean Air Zone just a few weeks away we are urging drivers and fleet operators to visit the Brum Breathes website to check whether or not they will need to pay the Clean Air Zone daily charge. And if they do need to pay the charge they can also find about the various packages of support that they may be eligible to apply for.”
Owners of Birmingham-licensed Hackney Carriage vehicles may be eligible for a financial incentive if they are the registered owner or keeper of a hackney carriage taxi that will be charged and are licensed by Birmingham City Council as a Hackney Carriage driver.
Support measures include:
· £5,000 (spread over four years) towards the running costs of an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) taxi
· £5,000 (one off payment) towards a Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) solution for an existing vehicle
· £5,000 contribution towards a Euro 4 petrol or Euro 6 diesel (or better) compliant vehicle, unless eligible for the government’s plug-in grant.
Private Hire drivers may also be eligible for financial support if they are the registered owner or keeper of a private hire vehicle that will be subject the Clean Air Zone charges. They also need to be licensed by Birmingham City and be the registered owner/keeper of that vehicle since before 10 September 2018.
Support measures include:
· Up to £1,000 towards an upgrade to a compliant Euro 4 petrol or Euro 6 diesel vehicle or better. The vehicle must be no more than three years old as of January 2020
· Up to £2,000 towards the purchase or lease of a hybrid vehicle or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that is not eligible for the Government’s plug-in car grant and meets the Birmingham Taxi Licensing age requirements
· Subject to purchase up to two annual payments of £1,250 towards running costs of a fully electric vehicle or long range plug-in hybrid vehicle
Drivers are encouraged to first check if they will be subject to Clean Air Zone charges before applying for support. This can be done with help from the Government’s Vehicle Checker tool.