Birmingham is the latest UK city to announce that it is creating a clean air zone in the city centre to reduce pollution levels. The city council revealed the plans at the end of June to heated debate but look set to go ahead with them, offering a template for other cities around the country. So will all city centres soon become clean air zones?
What are clean air zones?
Back in 2015, the government announced plans to improve the air quality in the cities and announced five new Clean Air Zones that it wanted to be operational by 2020. A Clean Air Zone is an area where the local authority introduces measures aimed at improving the air quality. At first, the plans involved the most polluting vehicles such as buses, taxies and HGVs but following a legal challenge, ‘non-compliant private vehicles’ were also included in the zone.
The clean air zone plan was enforced after the Supreme Court ordered the UK to fix the emissions problem we have in the UK, as it is estimated 40,000 people nationally suffer as a by-product of emissions.
The step is part of the broader Air Quality Plan that the government released with the aim of reducing dangerous pollutants in the air, which is especially dangerous in the city centres. The Clean Air Zones can come in two kinds – non-charging and charging.
In a non-charging zone, the focus is on improving air quality but without charging drivers. Efforts will go to things like retrofitting vehicles to reduce pollution and to change traffic flow to spot areas where vehicles are stationary for extended periods. In a charging zone, like the one in London, drivers will have to pay to enter it with their vehicles if they meet a particular environmental standard.
The plan announced by the city council in Birmingham involves charging drivers of higher polluting vehicles to use the city centre within the A450 middle ring road. The charge will be introduced in January 2020 with the aim of discouraging drivers of the most polluting cars from driving around the city centre.
The move comes as an estimated 900 people a year die in the city prematurely due to the problems created by pollution. It also ties in with the government’s plans to develop these clean air zones in major cities.
Opposition to the plan
Opponents to the project were quick to point out that the move would likely hit the poorest the most – people who can’t afford to buy newer, less polluting cars. There is also concern about the impact for small businesses in and around the city centre who cannot afford to buy new, electric vehicles but need to access the area for their business.
Others point out that moving the pollution from the city centre to other areas simply moves the problem and doesn’t solve it. So while the city centre may be pollution free, surrounding areas could become much more polluted. Moving the pollution around does nothing for the environment. By merely taking the pollution and spreading it out over a wider area you are surely reducing the environmentally friendly plans aim to move it and make it someone else’s issue. Surely a better thought would be to reduce the cost of public transport and increase the efficiency to allow people to access the city centres for less money and reduce emissions.
Problems for businesses
As the government plans to roll out the scheme to more places around the country, it seems few of us, including companies, are aware of the changes that are coming. One poll by YouGov found that 40% of small and medium businesses that they spoke to have no idea that the Clean Air Zone scheme was being rolled out.
Also, 38% had no idea that their vehicles wouldn’t meet the new standards and could see them charged anywhere from £12.50 to £100 to drive within the clean air zones. The survey was carried out by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVLRA) whose chief executive Gerry Keaney said that results showed more awareness is needed for people to understand what the new zones would mean for them.
Do clean air zones work?
The other big question with the idea is whether the clean air zones work at all. People are concerned about moving pollution from one area to other or just not solving the problem in the way that was expected.
However, there is evidence that the clean air zones do work. One study of a low emissions only zone in Germany found that there were significant reductions in the particular matter in the air in these zones – this is the stuff that causes health problems. Moreover, research in London after five years of the clean air zone found that levels had fallen 2.5-3.1% compared with just 1% outside the zone.
There is less evidence that levels of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) are reduced inside the zones. These are also connected to health problems and are created particularly by diesel vehicles. However, experts believe this is more to do with the diesel emissions scandal than anything – the cars emitted more NOx than they thought when doing their testing.
Cleaning up the city
In Birmingham, the levels of pollutants are much higher in specific areas than the recommended 40 micrograms per cubic metre. The pollutants are particularly harsh on the lungs of children as they are still developing. So the clean air zones are seen as a way to reduce the pollution and help make us all healthier – but help may be needed for businesses who have to use these areas and could face extremely high costs.
Would you pay to enter a city? Apart from charging vehicles, what do you think could be done to help reduce emissions? Let us know in the comments below
Just another tax the motorists yet again What figures do they have to support this.
Yes another tax. Government and councils are all at it TAX this TAX that TAX the next. Here is a good tax for all to know about.. Lisburn and Castlereagh Borough Council charge £50.00 per year for a second RECYCLE BIN for household food waste and domestic Garden waste. They claim it costs to do it LOL LOL,, YES LOL LOL.. What a joke watch this one roll out throughout the UK. If they can get away taxing RECYCLING they will tax everthing they can and I mean everything. We will be taxed to death
In May this year North Hertfordshire the Council introduced a charge of £40 a year for the first recycle bin and £70 for a second. Before introducing the charge the Council issued a questionaire in which all households were able to give their views on it. 75% were against the charge but it was still introduced. The questionaire cost many thousands of pounds, the result was ignored so what was the point of it? Councils appear to love wasting ratepayers money.
How can anyone use two recycle bins?? Blimey I am living a different life to most people. I use mine and put it out once every two months. What do people use in order to fill up two bins, they are huge!!
In my local council area we can recycle plastics, glass, paper, cardboard, metal foil, cans and (separately) food waste. We have a small food waste bin for weekly collection, and large bins for recycling and non-recyclables on alternate weeks. Very liitle goes in my non-recyclable bin, but my recycling bin is at least 2/3 full most collection weeks. Perhaps your local council isn’t doing nearly enough.
I just don’t buy packaged food I guess, using raw materials from green grocer, never shop in supermarkets these days. Don’t have much to recycle, don’t waste food, so don’t need a food waste bin. I am vegetarian, so don’t eat meat. Have a dog and he eats scraps from the butcher. Don’t have glass in jars or bottles, don’t have paper or foil, cans but sadly buy milk in plastic containers, but if I could avoid that I would. Life style choice.
MONEY<< MONEY<< MONEY—- Try cutting counsellor's expenses, junkets and light fingers.
If the aim is genuinely to improve air quality in city centres then surely non compliant vehicles should be banned not allowed in for a charge. This smacks of another money making scheme against car owners.
If the Stazi really wanted cleaner air they would reduce the main culprit, humans, as they wish to raise the population by increasing the numbers into the country they should be honest and say that it’s aim is increasing of tax using the climate as an excuse.
Agreed, Peter. Maybe if they stopped trying to import much of the Third World and Asia we’d stand a chance of maintaining good air quality. This approach is like watering your lawn while your house burns down.
Maybe the british government should for once look at what other countries, that are ahead in the game, are doing, e.g. Germany. They have introduced emission zones and cars are classed according to emission levels. You are allowed – or not – to enter certain zones depending on the level of your car, i.e. green yellow, red. No fudging if you can afford it.
Government pushed drivers down the diesel route and now we are being penalised yet again. Sick of spiralling costs related to motoring (car tax, insurance, fuel, congestion charge etc). The state of the roads is getting worse with the number of potholes and bodged up repairs a standard picture across the country.
‘Taxes’ like this just move the problem as people change where they drive and shop – another nail in the high street coffin.
Yes another tax on the car user, I go into Birmingham for various purpose Blood Donation, shopping, to see some concerts and shows.
When these charges come in I will not going into Birmingham or any other town that introduces them.
I will shop and visit other areas, farther away, therefore production more emissions
And presumably not donating blood too? I am in the same position. Our local Donor Centre in Leicester will refund reasonable parking costs if asked (I don’t, as I travel in by motorcycle) but if donors are faced with £12.50 charges too, they will either not donate or expect compensation. Another cost to the NHS or BIG reduction in blood stock reserves?
Yes killing city centre that is already ibn steep decline. Not only retail businesses but all others as well,,As you say Blood donation centres in City Centres. Pushing people out to Shopping centres causing greater Fuel consumption. They will creating a Baron landscape where no one will go.
Well if you can afford it – buy AMAZON shares as I reckon this is their idea, ha ha. They will do very well. The council will go broke, will lose their carer’s who work for social services, and will end up in one great big mess. No one seems to consider how these things will affect those workers who keep our cities clean and functioning. It is not rich people, it is the ground works, those at the base of society with three jobs, etc.
That does not make sense as going further away will cost you more, so you could just use Brum anyway, including the higher cost. Essentially you are cutting your nose off to spite your face.
What happens to the money raised?
The move to public transport must be a better idea,
More buses, with routes that cover more areas.
More trams and cheaper trains.
To go to my nearest shopping Centre is two buses.
£4.00 and an hour each way. (Because of the timetables).
If I take the car it is 25 minutes and £3.00 to park.
Agreed BUT how much can you carry on the bus,, not a lot. Horses for courses as they say. Small shopper fine with public transport I totally agree but if you want a substantial shop. then it is the Car or a Taxi and most taxis are Deisel. If we go the electric route there are not enough charge points as my son found out. Also they dont work most of the time. Then we have to get the AA out with their polluting vans, will they then pass on the charge to the broken down electric car, all because of lack of working charging points. Another point my son has noticed cars that are electric park at the charging point plug it in and leave then there for hours, FREE PARKING
as usual tax it is the answer !!! the rich can can willingly pay the charges if it keeps the plebs away. You CAN pollute you just have to pay a fee… does it solve the problem? who cares if it raises revenue!
I totally agree, this is a tax on the poor as the rich can afford to drive wherever they want. Sadly they have forgotton one thing, it is the poor that clear the streets – the bars – and restaurants that the rich will be eating in, in their newly exclusive city centre, but it will be a filthy place. Good luck.
I think as one poster has said, if this is about pollution -BAN ALL CARS!
yet another reason not to go to Birmingham
The main aim is to reduce pollution. This should be done by investing in public transport and making it a far cheaper way to travel than by car. By increasing costs, you will make shoppers and visitors and workers go elsewhere. Shops and businesses that rely on these people will suffer and close. You’ll create a ghost town….yay, no traffic or emissions but at what cost to our country?
Just invest in our public transport, make it so cheap to use that it becomes attractive to commuters and problem solved.
I have a Bus Pass and a Senior Rail Card and I feel that as well as making public transport cheaper, it also needs to be a faster alternative to car use and run at a frequency that approaches the car users’ “I can start my journey the moment I’m ready”.
In the instances where this does happen, I wouldn’t dream of taking my car – For instance the train from Cambridge to London almost always runs on time, has plenty of seats, only takes around 45 minutes and is under £17 return off-peak.
Contrary to what some younger rule-makers might think. waiting ages for a bus or train that goes ‘all round the houses’ and stops at every stop or station just takes away minutes of your life that no-one can ever give back to you. The older you get, the more you will find yourself adopting a ‘just in time’ attitude to everything. At least that is my experience!
Well I have looked at a return journey from north Wales, to Bournemouth and it was exorbitant. I could not afford close to £80 when a car could do it in £35. The transport costs in this country are a national disgrace. I remember years ago trying to use train to go from Bournemouth to Lincoln, and it was over £100 – as I said I did not want to buy the seat – just sit on it. So I went by car, the round journey cost £40 and it was when petrol was far cheaper 55p per gallon.
I would far rather travel these journeys by train, but it is just too expensive, and on sunday when maintainable work is being done, far too unreliable. So I will boycott all city centres that do this and make it tooo expensive to visit as will a lot of people – so businesses beware, unless the council put in place far cheaper transport systems they will kill off their city centres.
they did but thatcher got rid of it
We need to take action to reduce traffic congestion, not just associated pollution, so I would go much further and introduce congestion charging for all vehicles in all towns and cities. These would be in the form of zones taking in the whole town or city, with larger areas such as London, Birmingham etc being split into multiple zones radiating from the centre to the outskirts.
The charges should be tiered according to the vehicle category to take account of differing levels of pollution emissions, such that electric vehicles would be cheapest while HGVs the most expensive. All non-emitting public transport vehicles such as electric trams and Hydrogen-powered buses would be exempt, but diesel-powered vehicles would be subject to a modest charge.
The charges should start off reasonably modest but then increase above inflation year by year. All proceeds should be invested in increased public transport, cycling and walking povision. All public transport within these towns and cities should be integrated, with zone-based fares, using exactly the same zone boundaries as for the congestion charge.
This may sound like a drastic measure, and yes, it would certainly take a huge amount of effort, and a great deal of time to implement successfully, but we need to take these bold steps and start now! In time, we would reap the benefits of better urban environments, fit for people not just cars. Our town and city centres would be rejuvenated, and once again become accessible for shopping and social gathering.
And what about cleaners, auxillary workers, worker on low salaries, or zero hrs, (due to greedy owners of businesses) what about those workers who keep our streets clean, our businesses moving forward, who work in our hospitals or who are carer’s for the public and elderly. What about all of our unsung hero’s who work their bollocks off for a pittance. I am one, having retired from midwifery early due to shift work damaging my health. I now work as a band four assistant therapist, if I have to pay to work, and I almost do now, as the mileage I get barely covers my costs (if indeed it does and I have not worked that out) there is no way I can afford to pay to work in a city centre or to visit people in the city centre, nor is there any alternative. So I for one will hand in my notice, I am definitely not paying charges to access NHS clients as part of my job, as my employers do not provide parking, do not pay for parking, and are allowing us to move around the streets in two hourly parking slots, continually throughout the day, they are very unlikely to be sympathetic about us paying charges to work. I have to have a car for this job. I have to move from site to site, home visits etc. It is a requirement but where I park or drive apparently is my problem.
Your comments about it being rejuvenated, NO I absolutely agree, unless you mean full up with rich or retired people who can afford to enter the city, it will just mean Amazon makes more money and still pays no tax, due to our weak government and weak tax laws that have too many loop holes, put there for the purpose of tax evasion by large companies. It will make city centres the play centres of the rich, but sadly the rich do not like paying their dues for the most part. So rock on Birmingham, another city in the grip of social cleansing.
More tax on motorists . time to go back to horse and cart. the horse muck will fill the potholes and the swarms of flies will keep people too busy to notice they are treading through horse $// muck. another alternative would be camels ,the dung can be used for fires in the cold weather saving the planet by using less gas and electric. good job I am not in charge of organizing these things as there would be no tax to pay because if you live in a city you should expect air pollution , shootings knife crime , acid attacks, the upside is horses and camels won’t kill or injure as many people as lorries ,vans and cars .
In Paignton town centre we have the Dartmouth steam train belching out black smoke from its coal boilers in order to heat up its engines for the daily trips. This black and grey smoke spreads across the bowling club green and the cricket/rugby club right next door to the steam railway station. In addition to this , the smoke from the steam trains forces the local household residences to close their balcony doors and windows on a warm sunny day, when they want their doors and window open. The smoke from the steam trains puts a coating of tiny black sticky dots on the pvc cladding of our bowling club building which is hard to remove, this contamination can also be breathed in by the local residences and visiting holiday makers, its especially harmful to young children and elderly people, as the particulates will stick inside their lungs.
and what about the pollution from Birmingham Airport, nothing is ever said about the pollution from all the airports. Will I pay to go into any city? NO I WILL NOT! I have changed from a diesel car to a petrol one and that is it as far as I am concerned, but this pollution is serious make no mistake about it.
Does being charged for driving in a clean air Zone make the car cleaner . If so great , cheaper than a conversion ? I suppose the Diesel cars , as recommended by a previous government , are the main target . But what about classic cars who are exempt from road tax and also MOT’s . Another vehicle being encouraged by the government of the day as the exemptions prove.
OK here’s a thought. If you assume that the existing system works apart from the emissions i.e. People get from A to B, people & organisations can transport large loads which have been or can be purchased generating VAT revenues, fuels generate VAT and fuel duty revenue, vehicle manufacturers sell vehicles, generate tax revenues, employ people who spend money and pay tax and Nat Insurance, then there’s already a lot of tax revenue being generated.
Surely if some of this tax revenue was spent in encouraging people to move to the latest most fuel efficient engines then there would be a natural decline in emissions. Of course I do mean a substantial inducement across both the new and second hand market because even the nearly new vehicles are (usually) cleaner than the older vehicles which are the vehicles that need to be taken out of the system.
This would all mean that all vehicle owners can contribute to reducing emissions from a UK wide initiative without being subject to knee-jerk reaction schemes because the responsibility has been pushed out to local authorities who don’t have the money fund it.
Another positive is that a scheme like this would help to ensure a revenue stream to the vehicle manufacturers aiding investment in cleaner technology and onwards into hybrid / electric (if that’s the way it’s going to be) whilst allowing all owners to drive the cleanest possible vehicle within their means.
Just my thought, what’s yours?
Yet another political knee jerk reaction to something without thinking it through! Politicians (from any party) need to be seen to be doing something; another farce that will fail yet cost the tax payers a fortune.
What it means is that many people usually the poorer ones will find their car worthless and possibly unable to get to work and less people will visit city centres making it another nail in their coffin.
2 responses to this – 1) if the UK had a decent infrastructure then most people I’m sure would gladly leave their vehicles behind. Never any thought how people are supposed to get from A to B when developments happen. 2) this is all well and good but the problem of pollution won’t go away it’ll simply be pushed elsewhere. With so many woods and open spaces being destroyed due to the massive building projects the government insists on then how do they expect for one minute to ever tackle the pollution problem we now have. Kick all politicians out I say and let the people make some decisions
I already stay out of London due to the charges to go into central areas. Add more cities to the list an I’ll just stay away. You only increase your risk of being blown up run over or stabbed it seems so good luck to the charges. Let’s hope the businesses talk with there feet and move away from city centres and the councils lose the revenue when they create these no go zones. And surely there’s a freedom of movement and choice. Oh no I forgot we live in a police state !! The ministers and councillors seem to forget who they work for.
If pollution is that bad why not ban all vehicles full stop. All goods and services could then be transported by rickshaw creating employment and keeping the population fitter, then even the wealthy would be affected instead of paying to pollute.
Just a money-making scheme, Birmingham Council is very short of money and they don’t care about the shops and businesses that will closed around down because customers (like me) will stop visiting the city centre.
If these clean air zones go ahead, it will cost the bus companies millions to update & upgrade their fleets. There’s no way these older smokey busses will ever meet the clean air zone emissions. To be honest, it’s a wonder many of them pass the MOT of emissions & smoke.
What if you only have a proper vehicle made in 1962 – AC or 1974 -Triumph and live 40 miles away with a spouse who has mobility problems, occasionally have to visit Birmingham and cannot afford a modern disposable foreign vehicle?
(I have just asked if you could promote a PETITION against this idea).
WHAT A RIDICULOUS IDEA; THE AREA COVERED IS MAINLY INDUSTRIAL, WHEREAS THE AREA JUST OUTSIDE OF THE BORDER ON THE SOUTH SIDE IS RESIDENTIAL, so in effect the Council are saying keep pollution out of the industrial areas and LET THE RESIDENTS SUFFER.
AS I SAID TOTALLY UNTHOUGHT OUT AND CRASS.
I’m a full time carer for a friend who lives in the Sheffield town center, how on earth am I going to be able to afford to pay a charge every day to go and help him if this is introduced in Sheffield when all I get is £109 per week!
Well you are missing the point, the point is to make the city centre the play centre for the rich!! Not the poor, like us. All carer’s, cleaners etc will be excluded, so they will be cleaning their own messes, their own thrown away cans, or bottles, or wrappers, oh I have just had a thought, there will not be any as the poor deliver the products, cook the produce and serve it. I wonder if AMAZON thought this one up, it will do well as a company as the poor and middle classes who are also being squeezed will just buy online.
Clean air zones are part of the inevitable process required to wean ourselves of oil & its derivatives so we can show our children we care enough about their health.
Byelaws that are created to slow traffic down IE speed bumps + Bus stops that are on the road, whereas they could be put in recessed areas with a provision to give priority to public transport when exiting such areas. The siting of Bus stops opposite each other & near traffic separation bollard, prohibiting any overtaking. Islands that give priority to direction that traffic use infrequently, should be re-vamped to keep traffic moving. Traffic lights should be sequenced to continual movement on main roads & much more thought should be given to the length of time between pedestrian crossing lights (Having seen some allow 3/4 vehicles to pass before changing to stop again)
Static traffic creates much more pollution; traffic planners should put much more priority to keeping traffic moving therefore creating less pollution. CREATIVE THINKING IS REQUIRED, NOT KEEP BANGING DOWN THE SAME TRACK.
I say all this as a frequent bus & local train user (elderly free pass bus/train in local municipality), using public transport more than my private vehicle. But all the above comments also apply when travelling by bus.
Government need to get its head out of the sand & maybe make moving traffic a priority
Firstly they should enforce the smokeless zones introduced in the sixties and extend them to cover all areas, wood burners and solid fuel fires (unless burning certified smokeless fuel) give off about 3.5 times the amount of particle pollution that diesel cars do. Heavy polluting industry should also be made to clean up their act. There is no true pollution free form of vehicle, EV’s rely on power stations which all cause pollution of one kind or another.
From what I’ve heard Birmingham is the only city that taxis run on lpg,zero emissions,why can’t all taxis in other cities run on lpg
Lpg liquid petroleum gas is roughly halve price of petrol and diesel. Ford and vauxhall make cars fitted with this system.yorkshire police use protons with gas.why don’t the government push this system
Park and ride is the obvious answer, with buses (preferably electric) running a regular service at low cost and free parking. This would increase city use without taking the car into the centre, we do this all the time where there is park and ride and avoid cities where there is no park and ride. As for large shopping trips, surely this is what out of town shopping malls are for, mostly with free parking.
Clean alternatives to petrol and desiel already exist, but the petrochemical industries are resisting change, much like the tobacco industry did to reduce smoking.
Electric vehicles will only play a small part. The real alternative will be hydrogen fuel cell technology. Many engine systems have been created, but kept tucked away. Ford have had an engine for more than 10 yrs,and Toyota is actually marketing a production car, but in small numbers due to cost, refuelling availability, and public understanding, similar to early electric car production.
Hydrogen fuel cell cars are far more versatile, non- polluting and do not have a charging time problem/ battery cost issue.
But the advancement of this technology is hampered by the self serving petrochemical industry who have much to lose, from a rapid transition to a cleaner fuel!
It will not be the public, per se, who hamper a timely change to a cleaner vehicle, but the multinationals who want to wring out every last penny from fossil fuels!
“A Clean Air Zone is an area where the local authority introduces measures aimed at improving the air quality. Like most other people, I have paid my fair share of “Green” taxes over the years but according to the government pollution is getting worse, so this proves to me that “Green” taxation doesn’t work, so therefore it must just be a money making racket for both the government and local councils. Like all authorities, they would sooner just tax people, rather than sit down and fined a proper solution to the problem.
This is just another tax for a council to waste money on other things.As usual the motorist gets hit in the pocket . Everybody will lose out to this as bus fares and train fares are too expensive and their timetables won’t fit into people’s schedules also shoppers and shopkeepers will be punished .
Shame on you Birmingham City Council as you hosting the Commonwealth Games so the whole world will see what a joke this is . I am ashamed to say I came from Birmingham and was proud to be a Brummie .
Amazon must have thought this one up, must buy shares in this company as they will do well when city centres become the play centres for the rich.
Kingston has some new cycle lanes which massively increase congestion & pollution.
First problem with their plan is that private vehicles are not the only culprit of pollution, not only that they are not even the largest polluter. Secondly, private vehicles are used for communing, which means that public transport has to be improved if they want to reduce the numbers of the cars. It is easy to say – ohhh yes lets just ban the cars form city centres and apparently all the problems with pollution somehow going to miraculously disappear! No need to improve the roads, no need to build off-city parking and park and ride buses, no need to make railways/tube more affordable and comfortable…. it is just simple matter of banning cars. It doesn’t even recognise other main sources of pollution e.g. gas boilers which by the way are closer to homes and produces more NOx then cars, what about all remaining vehicles – HGVs, Taxis, Vans, Buses – are we banning those as well?
In short this is just witch hunt and as always looking somebody to blame (mostly motorists) instead of looking to solve real problems.
The air quality in Birmingham will never be good as long as you allow its population to grow exponentially.
Personaly i just avoid Birmingham, its dirty horrible palce. Air quality is the least of its worries.
Just making money out the car owner again we are an easy target as we have to pay it
as a resident of greater London, I will not travel into the charging zone for shopping or entertainment. except for the museums, all the shops can be found outside, the shows and films will eventually come round. the centres being set up will only used by tourist, and the very rich that can afford to live and work there. this means I will drive my diesel car much further in opposite direction, to get what I need. past governments put us in position, now the public has to pay. growing up in the 50s in central London with dense polluting traffic and fog, I have now reached my 70s, the data that is being bounded around don’t add up, compered to the number of people dying of road traffic/drugs/drink/smoking/illness, the government could do well getting its head round that, Instead of beating the easy target motorist about the head with their big stick.
This is another city which will moan about lack of footfall at shops. Really it is self inflicted. People will rather visit out of town shopping centres with free parking. As to those without private transport tough luck
Why does nobody mention aviation fuel???
Far worse than the car but not talked about ever why ??