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Clean Air consultation closes: Opponents say plans lack ambition

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The Clean Air Zone consultation opened on 1 July.

11,875 people have responded to a Council consultation over plans to introduce a Clean Air Zone in Sheffield.

The proposals will see the most polluting taxis and vans charged £10 a day for entering the city centre if funding for the scheme is secured from central government.

High polluting buses and lorries will pay £50 when the CAZ comes into force in early 2021.

"We'd like to thank the people of Sheffield for responding in such big numbers," said Cabinet Member for Transport Bob Johnson.

Private cars cause half of all the air pollution from traffic

"We've had over three times as many responses as any other recent consultation and to get more responses than other big cities shows just how passionately people feel about this issue."

Green politicians have criticised the decision to exempt cars from the charge.

"Private cars cause half of all the air pollution from traffic," said Green councillor Douglas Johnson.

"Consulting the public on a proposal to charge private cars would have been the ideal opportunity to ask how people would tackle this public health crisis."

Cabinet Member Bob Johnson said that the Labour administration were striking a balance.

"From talking to the people of Sheffield over the last two months, the message is clear - air pollution is a big issue and people want clean air," he said.

We are decades behind other cities

"However we have to ensure that food can still be delivered, that buses still run and children can get on a coach for a school trip."

Green councillor Alison Teal said the plans demonstrated a lack of ambition.

"Once again we see Sheffield residents disadvantaged by the inertia of this Labour council," she said.

"Sheffield needs a first class public transport and active travel infrastructure. We are decades behind other cities."

In November, former Lib Dem leader Shafaq Mohammed told Sheffield Live that the decision to charge taxis was "bonkers".

"This Council needs to look at what it's doing seriously," he said. "I think it's going to hurt the poor and those that don't have [access to] public transport."

This road widening scheme makes a mockery of the Council's declaration of a climate emergency

On 9 September, Extinction Rebellion will block roads to protest against the expansion of Sheffield's inner ring road.

"This road widening scheme makes a mockery of the Council's declaration of a climate emergency," activist Sophie Armour told Now Then earlier this month.

Cllr Lewis Dagnall held responsibility for the environment until he resigned from the Cabinet last week. Cllr Mark Jones has replaced Dagnall as Cabinet Member for the Environment, Streetscene and Climate Change.

Sam Gregory

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