UK Clean Air Zones (CAZ)
In order to meet new emissions regulations, a number of local authorities are set to introduce Clean Air Zones (CAZ) across the UK in 2020.
Following the introduction of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, an increasing amount of UK towns and cities have proposed varying Clean Air Zones to tackle air quality, health and congestion. Designed for cities or areas of high urbanisation, CAZ aim to clean up all sources of air pollution, particularly nitrogen dioxide, whilst also making local communities cleaner and greener.
While CAZs differ in detail across the country, the premise remains the same: vehicles which do not meet emission standards – Euro VI or 6 for diesel and Euro 4 for petrol vehicles – will be charged upon entering an applicable town or city.
CAZ being introduced in 2020
Birmingham is expected to introduce a CAZ in summer 2020, it will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Owners of non-compliant cars, taxis, LGVs and minibuses will pay £8 per day to drive in the city centre. Whilst HGVs, coaches and buses that don’t meet emission standards will pay £50 per day.
You can see the area the CAZ covers on the Birmingham Government map.
Residents with a car registered within the CAZ will be exempt from charges for two years. For the full list of exemptions, visit #brumbreathes
Birmingham government has support available including a £1000 mobility credit or £2000 scrappage scheme.
Bath and North East Somerset
The approved zone includes the centre of Bath, but air quality will meet legal limits across the whole city. The CAZ will focus on vehicles with the highest emissions. Heavy vehicles like buses, coaches, and HGVs will receive a daily charge of £100. Taxis, minibuses, vans, pick-ups and horse boxes will receive a daily charge of £9.
Private cars and motorcycles will be exempt regardless of emissions. You can find full details on the Bath and North East Somerset website.
Support is available to reduce the impact of the zone, including a financial help scheme.
Leeds were on track to launch England’s first CAZ in January 2020, however it suffered setbacks due to the government not delivering digital vehicle checking tools in time that are needed to make the zones operational. The council has now confirmed it will come into force in July 2020 at the earliest.
Leeds’ CAZ will cover half of the city centre. HGVs, buses and coaches which fail to meet the minimum emission standards will have to pay £50 per day to travel through it.
Taxis, private hire vehicles and minibuses will pay £12.50, or a reduced rate of £50 per week if the vehicles are licensed in Leeds.
This fee only applies to non-compliant vehicles and doesn’t apply to private vehicles, check Leeds Clean Air Zone website for more information.
Oxford’s recently approved Zero Emission Zone will come into action in December. Vehicles that don’t comply will be charge £10 between the hours of 7am and 7pm. The following vehicles can use the zero emissions zone:
- Cars that emit 50g of CO2/km and drive 70 miles without any emissions
- Vans that emit less than 75g of CO2/km and drive 10 miles without any emissions
- Motorcycles and mopeds that don’t emit any CO2
There’ll be a discount for blue badge holders until December 2024. Oxford residents will receive a 90% discount until 2030.
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee will have Low Emissions Zones by the end of 2020. Each of these zones will ban cars that don’t meet emission standards. So Instead of a daily fee, vehicles that don’t meet emission standards will face a fine.
Residents in these areas will have a grace period to allow them to find a compliant vehicle.
You can find full details of Scotland's Low Emissions Zones on the Low Emission Zones Scotland website.
From late 2020 Aberdeen will operate a LEZ which is likely to cover the city centre. Vehicles that do not meet the required emissions standards will not be able to enter the area. Currently the proposed minimum criteria is:
- Euro 6 for diesel cars
- Euro 4 for petrol cars
- Euro 6 for heavy diesel vehicles (including older retrofitted engines which would be improved to operate as Euro 6)
Electric and hydrogen vehicles will also be allowed to access the zone. You can use the Vehicle Checker on the Low Emission Zones Scotland website to see if your vehicle is likely to be allowed into the zone.
The LEZ will apply to all vehicles which enter the city centre. But city-wide for HGVs, LGVs, taxis, vans and private hire vehicles that don’t meet emissions standards.
It’ll be in place by the end of 2020. Residents will have a grace period before it starts, to allow them to find a suitable vehicle.
Drivers, householders and businesses in Dundee have backed the city’s inner ring road as the boundary of a proposed Low Emission Zone.