Minibus firm owner racks up £16,000 in Sheffield Clean Air Zone fines and fears business collapse

Ky Monihan

Ky Moynihan has received 62 fines for entering the CAZ

Anna Riley

By Anna Riley

Published: 29/08/2023

- 15:26

Ky Moynihan has received 62 fines for entering the CAZ

The owner of a minibus firm has racked up more than £16,000 in fines for driving his vehicles in the Sheffield Clean Air Zone (CAZ) and says that he is being driven out of business as a result.

Since the Sheffield CAZ was launched at the end of February, Ky Moynihan, who runs Ky’s Executive Travel, has received 62 fines for entering the CAZ, but told GB News they were for school trips, which are exempt.

The CAZ was introduced with the aim of improving the quality of air by reducing congestion in the city centre, but at the time was met with several protests from people living and working in the city.

To enter the clean air zone in Sheffield, there’s a £50 emission charge for lorries, buses and coaches below Euro 6 standards and £10 for taxis and vans below Euro 4.


Ky Moynihan says all his appeals - which include sending proof of a school contract - have been rejected “without explanation” and says letters from Sheffield City Council are taking up to two months to arrive, so a £50 charge comes with an automatic £230 fine for none payment.

“So you put your exemption in with Sheffield City Council but they don’t seem to be even looking at the fine, they just double the fine and then send it back and send it to a tribunal,” Ky said.

“You get in touch with a tribunal and Sheffield City Council don’t turn up at the tribunal, so you’ve wasted all your time and then eventually it gets cancelled at tribunal.”

Figures show 39,178 drivers paid the charge in the first three months of the CAZ launching.

A further 14,581 were fined for not paying in the same period, in total helping Sheffield City Council accumulate an estimated £500,000.

Ky fears the CAZ is another tax that could force business like his to close.

Drivers in Sheffield

Sheffield City Council says income from the CAZ will be used to run and maintain the zone


“It’s crippling businesses, absolutely crippling them,” he said.

“Pay to pollute really in my eyes. Pay your £50 and you can go in [to the Clean Air Zone], but you’re still polluting, so if I’m paying the money, it’s not making the air any cleaner.

“I think what Sheffield City Council want you to do is basically go and buy a Euro 6 vehicle – at the end of the day, they’re £40,000 to £50,000 for a minibus, £200,000 for a coach, who can afford that at the moment with the cost of living crisis?”

Sheffield City Council says income from the CAZ will be used to run and maintain the zone and any surplus ‘has to be put towards other sustainable transport schemes in the city’.

The authority was unable to discuss individual circumstances like Ky’s, but said:

“Hundreds of people in Sheffield die prematurely each year due to air pollution. It impacts health at every stage of life, including unborn babies.

“Introducing any new measure like the Clean Air Zone comes with challenges.

“We care about businesses and want to see them thrive and look at the concerns and find a suitable solution.”

Sheffield city centre

Darren Brown says Sheffield city centre is 'dying a death'


Darren Brown is a Machine Operator at Anixter in Sheffield and was forced to sell his van due the Clean Air Zone charges.

He worries for the future of his city that the scheme has been brought in.

“I’ve had to sell my van because it wasn’t a Euro 6 van. I’m a working lad and I can’t afford £30,000 to buy a new Euro 6 van,” Darren told GB News.

“Sheffield city centre now, it’s dying a death, slowly, and this Clean Air Zone is not helping matters.”

Taxi drivers have staged several protests to fight for support to upgrade their vehicles to avoid charges, with some waiting months for a reply from Sheffield Council, they claim.

A taxi driver who has been forced to pay £10 per day to enter the city, told GB News: “It’s an absolute shambles the Clean Air Zone service is, I think it’s ridiculous to be honest.”

Six months on from its launch, others in Sheffield gave their views on the Clean Air Zone.

A shopper said: “I think it’s a way for the council to make more money, because lets face it the lorries, cars, vans, everything are still going to drive through the Clean Air Zone, so we’re still going to have the emissions.

She continued: “It’s just that the council will be filling their coffers.”

One man said: “It [the Clean Air Zone] was going to have to come, but I think it’s a bit too early now.”

But others did support the scheme.

“The air is for breathing and not poisoning,” said one man.

Another added: “I do support it, by all means.”

For now, Ky Moynihan continues to wade through fines and is organising a one-day ‘strike’ among minibus firms who will refuse travel for school trips and activities culminating in a 100-vehicle go slow protest through Sheffield.

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