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Progress for Birmingham Clean Air Zone

Published: 26th Jan 2021

Siemens Mobility

Siemens Mobility has completed the installation of all 67 monitoring and enforcement cameras for Birmingham City Council’s new clean air zone. Installed at locations across the city centre, the Sicore II automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras are at the heart of the scheme which is scheduled to go live on 1 June 2021.

Wilke Reints, Managing Director Intelligent Traffic Systems for Siemens Mobility Limited, said: “Although air quality in our towns and cities improved dramatically during the first national lockdown, since restrictions began to ease in May, we have seen a steady increase in the number of vehicles on our roads and a corresponding reduction in air quality levels. Most cities are now reporting air quality levels at least comparable to, if not worse than, pre-lockdown levels.

“As a result, local authorities such as Birmingham are forging ahead with clean air zone plans to drive improvements in local air quality and deliver wide-ranging environmental and health benefits.”

In December 2020, Siemens Mobility met a key project milestone by handing over the minimum viable product (MVP) version of the system to the Council. Essentially a Beta version of the final CAZ solution, the MVP system enables the Council to carry out thorough testing in advance of implementation.

The CAZ solution has been designed to deter the most polluting vehicles from entering the zone. Covering all Class D vehicles, which includes buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, light and heavy goods vehicles and cars, albeit with certain exemptions, the system will cover all the major routes within the Middleway Ring Road (but not the Middleway itself).

Councillor Waseem Zaffar from Birmingham City Council said: “Birmingham remains committed to launching the Government mandated Clean Air Zone on 1 June 2021. Poor air quality remains a public health risk and a Clean Air Zone provides the city with an effective tool for tackling this issue in the shortest possible time.

“We are pleased with the work our partners at Siemens Mobility has done to develop the technology that will enable the zone to operate. This plays a huge part in the preparation for Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone. I would urge drivers who come into the city to ensure they are aware of all of the changes and support on offer by visiting the Brum Breathes website.”

Siemens Mobility’s ANPR cameras will identify and register every vehicle that enters the CAZ; 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is anticipated that the system will capture details of around 200,000 vehicles per day, a small percentage of which are expected to be contraventions.

Proven in applications worldwide, the cameras provide three-lane coverage with just a single camera together with industry-leading image quality and number plate read accuracy. The system delivers effective and robust enforcement, with its advanced technology and ease of installation making it cost-effective for residential, city, rural and motorway environments.