West Midlands feasibility study says LEZ necessary in Birmingham City Centre and Coventry Ball Hill

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A technical feasibility study has been carried out on behalf of the West Midlands Low Emission Towns and Cities Programme (LETCP) to assess the feasibility of a transferable Low Emission Zone (LEZ) model for the West Midlands.

The report recommended that bus operators in Birmingham City Centre and Ball Hill in Coventry should be encouraged to replace as many buses as possible with new Euro 6 vehicles, as it would have a significant impact on air quality. However, even if all buses were upgraded, some areas could still break NO2 limits in 2018 and some bus routes may need to be altered. As a result, an LEZ was recommended in these areas.

Bus operators with services in Bearwood Road, Sandwell would also be encouraged to upgrade to Euro 6, and if all vehicles were upgraded, it would meet emissions standards. However, the report acknowledged that it would be very challenging to upgrade even to national projection of 49% Euro 6 compliance on buses by 2018 and further action may be necessary.

On the A458 between Halesowen and Stourbridge, projected NO2 for 2018 was considerably lower than in 2012 and the LEZ measures considered (Euro 6 buses, diesel cars and goods vehicles) would be enough to keep emission levels compliant.

The report said emissions on the A454 inter-urban corridor should naturally meet limit values and an LEZ was not necessary.