What does a Clean Air Zone look like in practice?
To give an example of what your local authority may be planning, we’ve laid out the planned/existing actions for Bath, Birmingham London:
Bath’s Clean Air Zone
Bath’s Clean Air Zone came into action on 15th March 2021 covering the zone marked out here.
Owners of buses, coaches, HGVs, PHGVs, taxis, vans and private hire vehicles that don’t meet the minimum emission standards, will have to pay a daily fee if they wish to enter the zone. However, private cars and motorbikes won’t be charged.
Bath & North East Somerset Council have opted for a ‘Class C’ CAZ. To support the introduction, the Government has launched an online Clean Air Zone vehicle checker, so that drivers can find out if they will be charged. However, organisations such as the RAC have already voiced concerns as to the accuracy of this tool. For full peace of mind, contact your vehicle manufacturer.
New CAZ charges in Bath:
- Buses and coaches using diesel EU 5 or earlier, or petrol EU 3 or earlier: £100 per day
- HGVs using diesel EU 5 or earlier: £100 per day
- Taxis or private hire vehicles using diesel EU 5 or earlier or petrol EU 3 or earlier: £9
- Minibuses, vans, light goods vehicle, pick-ups and campervans using diesel EU 5 or earlier or petrol EU 3 or earlier: £9
- PHGVs using diesel EU 5 or earlier, or petrol EU 3 or earlier: £100 per day
Keep an eye on the Bath & North East Somerset Council Council website for the official launch and latest restrictions, exemptions and funding and support details.
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone
Due to extremely high NO2 levels over the city, Birmingham is taking action to reduce emissions. They face a government set target of reducing NO2 down to a maximum average of 40μg/m3 as soon as possible.
Covid delayed implementation in 2020, but the council is intending to implement a Class D CAZ on 1 June 2021, covering all the roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road, but not the Middleway itself. The zone will run 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
Birmingham Council have set up a website to assist with the introduction where you can find official launch details, the latest restrictions, exemptions, funding and support details.
Owners of cars, buses, coaches, taxis (including private hire vehicles and Hackney/black cabs), HGVs, minibuses and vans that don’t meet the minimum emission standards, will have to pay a daily fee if they wish to enter the zone. However, motorbikes won’t be charged.
New CAZ charges in Birmingham:
- Cars, taxis (Hackney Carriages/black cabs & Private Hire), LGVs (vans) using diesel EU 6 or below and petrol Euro 4 or below: £8 per day
- HGVs (trucks and lorries), coaches and buses using diesel EU 6 or below and petrol Euro 4 or below: £50
Clean Air Zones in London: the LEZ & ULEZ
Although not labelled as such, CAZs have been in place in London for some time. The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) covering most of Greater London started back in 2008, and ‘operates to encourage the most polluting heavy diesel vehicles driving in London to become cleaner.’
And in 2019, Sadiq Khan announced the introduction of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), covering the same central area subject to London’s Congestion Charge. The ULEZ impacts all vehicles entering or driving through it and operates 24/7 all year round, including public holidays. And the intention is to expand it to the North and South circular roads late this year. Most vehicles, including cars and vans, need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards to pass through, or they will be subject to a charge.
London’s ULEZ charges and standards are as follows:
- Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category)
- Euro 4 for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
- Euro 6 for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles
- Euro VI for lorries, buses and coaches and other specialist heavy vehicles
And the charges are:
- £12.50 for cars, vans and motorcycles
- £100 for buses, lorries and coaches
These fees are in addition to the daily congestion charge for driving through central London.
The City of London operates their own online checker for the LEZ and ULEZ via TFL.
Vehicle types exempt from any UK CAZ charges:
- Buses, coaches and HGVs that meet Euro VI emissions
- Cars, vans and taxis that meet Euro 6 (diesel) or Euro 4 (petrol) emissions standards
- Ultra-low emission vehicles with a significant zero-emission range
- disabled passenger tax class vehicle
- military vehicle
- historic vehicle
- vehicle retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)