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Clean Air Zones

Date: Tue 10th April 2018   |   Author: L Blake

What you need to know about Clean Air Zones

In response to growing concerns over UK pollution, the Government has introduced clean air zones in several cities around the UK. A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is an area where the Government has decided action needs to be taken to improve the air quality.

Improving the air not only improves people’s health, but it also gives local councils and authorities a cash boost to make roads greener. Within a clean air zone, the aim is to reduce air pollution, including nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, so people breathe in cleaner air.

The method of how clean air zones are enforced will come down to the local council to decide and will depend on the source of pollution within each air zone. Vehicles are the primary cause of air pollution, with buses, taxis and HGVs coming under closest scrutiny.

Why does the UK need Clean Air Zones?

There are a number of towns and cities in the UK that are exceeding the European limits on air pollution. Therefore, the UK Supreme Court has ordered the Government to take action to improve the air quality in these districts.

The UK Government has a £220m Clean Air Fund designed to improve the air quality to meet the European air pollution limits. This will largely be done by creating daily charges for vehicle users. The implementation of Clean Air Zones will not be affected by BREXIT.

More than 50% of the UK population believes that the CAZ legislation is needed, as their concerns grow over the harmful effects air pollution is having on themselves and their children.  

london landscape

car exhausts in traffic

Who will be affected by the proposed Clean Air Zones?

In addition to London, which has been operating its Low Emission Zone since 2008, there is now a proposed further five cities that will be affected by the new Government proposals.These cities are Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton, which will have CAZs introduced by 2019.

These cities were all chosen because of their particularly high levels of nitrogen dioxide, which is caused by diesel fumes. The Government has also identified 23 further local authorities where Clean Air Zones may be introduced to reduce emission levels.  

So far, the proposed daily charge for vehicles is as follows:

  • Buses/Coaches£100
  • HGVS£100
  • Taxi and private hire £12.50

These charges may vary as the price is dependent on the local authority.

Will my car be eligible to pay a fine in a Clean Air Zone?

At present there are no plans for private vehicles to be affected by the proposed clean air zones. This is due to the fact that buses, heavy goods vehicles and taxis are the worst offenders and responsible for the majority of emissions within these areas.

We hope you found this article on understanding Clean Air Zones and UK pollution informative. There are plenty more helpful articles on the AutoProtect Engage page that answer more of your vehicle and driving queries.