With a clean air zone operating in Birmingham, many drivers are asking if they need to pay the charge in the evening and at weekends.
Here we look at when the clean air zone charge applies, how much it costs and what happens if you forget to pay it.
The famous Birmingham Bullring is now part of the city's clean air zone. (Credit: Pxhere)
Where is the Birmingham Clean Air Zone in operation?
The city’s clean air zone operates over an area that is within the A4540 Middleway.
Does the clean air zone include Birmingham’s A4540 Middleway?
No, the Middleway is not included in the charge, but all roads within it are.
Do I need to pay the Birmingham Clean Air Zone?
Not everyone will need to pay the clean air zone, but like other such low emission zone schemes, drivers with older cars are likely to be hit with the charge, while those with new vehicles will typically escape the need to pay.
If your vehicle meets the following criteria, it is likely that you will not need to pay – if not, you will typically be charged.
If your vehicle meets the following criteria you should not need to pay the daily fee:
- Diesel – Euro 6 (VI) standard or better
- Petrol - Euro 4 standard or better
- Gas – Euro 6 (VI) standard or better
- Hybrid electric – the diesel/petrol engine must meet the relevant criteria above
Birmingham Clean Air Zone checker for my car
The government has a website that covers all current and panned clean air zones. Simply follow the link below and enter your car’s number plate to see if you need to pay.
How do I know if I am entering the clean air zone?
To help drivers know they are entering the Birmingham Clean Air Zone, there are more than 300 road signs in place to warn drivers entering the zone.
There are two types of signs, the first are ‘informational’ and come before the boundary to alert motorists that they are approaching the clean air zone. These signs tell drivers how far ahead the zone becomes live.
The second type of sign is places at the boundary of the zone, and lets drivers know that as soon as they pass the sign, it’s likely they will be charged for using the zone.
The second type of sign, tells the driver charged apply and that they must pay online, unless they are exempt.
Can I check if I entered the Birmingham Clean Air Zone?
No. There is no system for checking if you have entered the Birmingham Clean Air Zone. Additionally, if you enter the payment system, your payment will be taken whether or not you have entered the clean air zone.
Do I have to pay the Birmingham Clean Air Zone in the evening and at weekends?
Yes. The Birmingham Clean Air Zone must be paid in the evening and at weekends. In fact, the charge is active 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
Will I need to pay the clean air zone on Christmas Day?
Yes. There are no festive gifts for drivers in Birmingham – you will need to pay the charge, if you qualify, on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the entire festive and New Year period.
How much is the clean air zone charge in Birmingham?
The charge is daily, so you only pay once during the day. The day runs from midnight to midnight and is not simply a 24-hour period. This means if you enter before midnight then leave after midnight, you will have to pay twice.
The daily charges are as follows:
- £8 per day for cars, taxis and vans (LGVs), or
- £50 per day for coaches, buses and HGVs
Are there payment booths?
No. The clean air charging zone is completely reliant on ANPR cameras recording your details. The payment is your responsibility. See below for how to pay.
How do I pay the Birmingham Clean Air Zone – and can I pay by phone?
You can pay the charge either online or by phone, which will come as a relief to anyone without online access.
You can pay online through the Government's payment system or you can call the Government's Clean Air Zone team on 0300 029 8888. Do not call Birmingham City Council as it has no facilities for taken payment.
The payment phone lines are open during the following hours:
- Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm
- Saturday, 8am to 2pm
How long have I got to pay the clean air zone charge in Birmingham?
Unlike some schemes, the Birmingham Clean Air Zone give users up to six days to pay. You can pay the charge:
- six days in advance of the day of your visit
- the day of your visit
- within six days after the day of your visit
What is the fine if I forget to pay?
If you forget to pay the charge for using the clean air zone, it’s likely you’ll receive a £120 penalty notice. If you pay this within 14 days if will be cut to £60.
Am I exempt from paying the Birmingham Clean Air Zone?
You can check if you or your vehicle is exempt from Birmingham Clean Air Zone charges by taking a look at this page.
Blue Badge holders WILL need to pay the charge if their car is not compliant.
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