An MP accused Birmingham City Council of using “manipulated information and data” to justify the introduction of a clean air zone.

The controversial Clean Air Zone goes into effect on June 1. Drivers of certain vehicles will face a fee of £ 8 or more for bringing their vehicles into central Birmingham.

But Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr), an opponent of the Clean Air Zone, challenged the city council cabinet member overseeing the project, Labor adviser Waseem Zaffar, in a public debate.

In a letter to Councilor Zaffar, he accused the council of using flawed air pollution figures to justify the project. Mr Mahmood said: “You and the Head of Birmingham City Council have been pushing hard to move forward with this project with invalid data, so I urge you to revisit this project for the citizens of Birmingham and for the good from the Labor Party in Birmingham. “

He said: “There are many other ways to provide better quality air to the people of Birmingham than the route you have taken.”

Mr Mahmood pointed out that the council’s own report on air pollution levels in the city warns the figures may not be reliable.

Birmingham Council’s annual State of Air Quality Report for 2019 includes a warning on page 11 that says: ‘Due to staff and resource issues, the rate of data capture at many locations was low.

Mr Mahmood also said data appearing to show nitrogen dioxide levels above the maximum allowable level of 40 µg / m2 (micrograms per square meter) may have been affected by construction work taking place nearby in the area. ‘time.

It comes after Councilor Zaffar issued a public statement attacking Mr Mahmood and accusing him of using “disinformation to undermine vital efforts to improve air quality in the city”.

Councilor Zaffar said there are 19 sites in the city center where nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels are above the legal limit, and 13 more where they are close.

Birmingham City Council has been asked to comment on Mr Mahmood’s claims.

The Birmingham Clean Air Zone covers all roads on the A4540 Middleway ring road, but not the intermediate track itself.

So if you drive on the ring road you won’t be charged – only if you enter it. This includes part of the A38 which begins at Aston Expressway and then becomes toll on the section where it passes inside the ring road at Dartmouth Circus.

Areas of Birmingham covered by the Clean Air Zone include City Center, Southside (which contains Chinatown, Gay Village, and Racecourse), Eastside (which contains Millennium Point, Thinktank, and part of the University of Birmingham ), Gas Street Basin (includes Mailbox), Westside (including Broad Street), Ladywood, the Jewelry District and Newtown.

Charges for vehicles that do not meet the emission standard will be:

  • Cars, taxi and high speed line £ 8 per day
  • Coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles £ 50 per day.

A “day” is classified from midnight to midnight.

More than 300 signs will be installed on the road network surrounding the border to inform drivers that they are approaching the area. Vehicles that do not meet zone emissions standards will be detected by an automatic license plate recognition system.