Car tax changes scrapped in major UK city after report highlights a ‘marginal’ benefit

Birmingham: Clean Air Zone signs seen across the city

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Reading Council had looked into charging drivers for parking their vehicles at work to reduce the number of cars on the roads. The proposals would have also introduced a Clean Air Zone charging drivers of highly-polluting commercial vehicles for using the roads.

The scheme was bookmarked for 2026/27 but new analysis means the plans have been ditched.

A major sticking point came after analysis found almost 100 percent of vehicles would be below the threshold at the time of launch.

Under the original plans, Reading Council aimed to reduce concerns of ‘rat running’ in the town centre.

Statistics suggested one in three vehicles which used the roads in the town centre had no origin, destination or purpose in Reading.

The Council confirms it has conducted a “high-level analysis” into the issue but found insufficient data.

They have promised to look back at the issue once traffic levels have returned to normal.

The Road Haulage Association had urged the council to consider “non-charging options” for its roads.

They warned charges would add extra miles to truck journeys which would increase costs for many local firms.

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However, plans to rip up the scheme have been met with opposition by councillors who were pushing for a charge.

Liberal Democrat councillor Ricky Duveen said the twin has an “issue” with air quality that needed to be addressed.

He said: “We have an issue with air quality in the town and I don’t think we can simply delay matters for another five years and essentially ignore the problem.

“Maybe ignore is a strong word but we’re not paying enough attention to it.”

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