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Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology will be used to enforce the new city centre clean air zone (CAZ) in Birmingham, a recent news report in the local media has been able to suggest.

As per the report, ANPR cameras will be installed at selected locations across the zone and are expected to capture details of around 200,000 vehicles per day. The information will then interface with the Government’s national CAZ database for vehicle checking and payment.

The system is scheduled to begin live testing this month and expected to be fully implemented over next year, although there are still uncertainties around the timing.

The project is the city’s response to the Government’s initiative for the setting up of CAZs from next year. This is aimed at reducing levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air to a maximum average of 40μg/m3 as soon as possible.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar said: “These cameras will play a key role in helping us to identify non-compliant vehicles entering the clean air zone, which in turn will help us tackle the major public crisis of poor air quality by discouraging the owners of the most polluting vehicles from driving into the city centre.

“However, we anticipate that the number of non-compliant vehicles entering the clean air zone will gradually drop as more people switch to compliant vehicles or choose cleaner, greener forms of transport instead.”

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