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ABDAir PollutionPress Release

Press Release – CBI Economics CAZ Report Is Based On Flawed Assumptions

By 14th April 2021September 12th, 2022No Comments

Clean Air Zones (CAZ) are a cost:benefit fail, not an economic benefit

A new CBI Economics report claims that even a small reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels as a result of the Birmingham Clean Air Zone (CAZ) ‘could’ prevent 50 deaths and save 150 days in hospitalisations due to respiratory conditions each year. They also claim that the resultant extra 216,000 working hours ‘could’ provide an economic boost of £2.7 million in Gross Value Added (GVA).

ABD Environment spokesman Paul Biggs said: “This report is another example of the abuse of ‘statistical constructs’ (1) (2) derived from unreliable air pollution epidemiology and models that do NOT refer to real people or real deaths. There are no death certificates or coroners’ reports in Birmingham citing nitrogen dioxide as a cause of death and the NHS does not attribute the hospitalisation of individuals to nitrogen dioxide. Birmingham’s own 2018 economic report on the CAZ (3) showed that it was poor value for money – the claimed health and environmental benefits over 10 years were outweighed by the disbenefits accruing to transport users. The CBI report only looks at dubious theoretical benefits and ignores the actual costs of CAZ.”

The 2018 10-year Birmingham CAZ economic appraisal (3) resulted in a ‘present value’ disbenefit of £66 million and a net ‘present value’ of minus £122 million.

Clean Air Zones charges are just another form of regressive taxation that hits small businesses and less well-off individuals with older vehicles the hardest.


Notes for editors

(1) Reality Check: Does pollution cut short 40,000 lives per year?

(2) Sadiq Khan’s ‘40,000 pollution deaths a year’ is a zombie statistic and isn’t true, says respiratory physician Prof Tony Frew:

(3) Local Transport Today: Mobility credits could soften blow of Birmingham’s charging Clean Air Zone:

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