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Car tax updates could see a new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) installed across Epping Forest which straddles Essex and the London boroughs of Enfield and Romford. The Epping Forest Interim Air Pollution Mitigation Strategy has revealed a Class D CAZ would need to be installed in the area.
The report said based on current evidence the new CAZ would need to be in place by September 2025.
They warned this could see almost all vehicles affected by the charge including cars, vans, private hire vehicles and buses.
The report adds they have the option to include motorcycles in the charge but would bring in some local exemptions to emergency service vehicles.
Vehicles which did not comply to the CAZ standard would still be allowed to drive in the zone but would face a daily charge.
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The report said the Epping Forest charge would differ from a standard CAZ to encourage road users to convert to Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles.
However, the charge is likely to be somewhere between London and Birmingham’s emissions charges.
London’s ULEZ charges up to £12.50 per day for most vehicles such as cars, motorcycles and vans with Birmingham charging drivers £8 per day to use their zone.
Councilor Nigel Bedford, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning at Epping Forest District Council said the CAZ will require “further work” before implementation.
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He warned the scheme will need “detailed consideration and consultation” before any charges could be introduced.
Mr Bedford said: “The Interim Air Pollution Mitigation strategy identifies as one of the measures that a clean air zone is being considered for implementation in 2025.
“How this clean air zone will work, charges for the zone and other issues around its implementation will of course require further work over the coming months/years.
“A suite of other measures will be introduced earlier to achieve a 10 percent conversion of petrol cars to Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) by 2024/25.
“Proposals such as the clean air zone will require detailed consideration and consultation which will include aspects of charging.”
The Interim Air Pollution report said there was a potential that any money raised through the CAZ could be used to fund local incentives.
The report highlights the heavy pollution rates in the area which has been the reason behind the new charge.
Around 28 percent of daily traffic using roads in Epping Forest is made up of older diesel cars which contributed up to 45 percent of nitrogen dioxide emissions.
Approximately 40 percent of daily traffic was made up of petrol vehicles contributing 88 percent of ammonia emissions in 2017.
Vans made up 18 percent of daily traffic around the area but contribute up to 45 percent of NO2 emissions.
The report said: “The Epping Forest SAC is known to be adversely affected by relatively poor local air quality alongside the roads that run through it.
It added: “The nature of the road network around the modelled part of the Epping Forest SAC is such that journeys between a number of key settlements around the Forest by car, van, lorry or bus effectively need to use roads that bisect the Epping Forest SAC.”
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