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Clean Air Zones TAKEOVER: UK CAZ roundup



The Government has banned the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2030, with hybrid cars given an additional five years – until 2035.


The rules were put in place to help tackle greenhouse gas emissions caused by transport.

Here we take a look at some of the UK’s busiest cities and what lies ahead as Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) are implemented by local authorities.


London: Being the capital and always looking to lead the way, London was the first major city to introduce a LEZ. And it hasn’t just stopped there as they have gone on to introduce an ULEZ to tackle pollution in the heart of the city, as well as the Congestion Charge.


On 25 October 2021, London’s ULEZ was expanded from just central London up to (but not including) the North and South Circular roads. The new zone is 18 times the size of the central London Zone and now covers 3.8 million people.

Anyone who drives a vehicle which does not meet the ULEZ requirements must pay a daily charge of £12.50. Currently hackney carriage drivers do not have to pay the charge, but private hire drivers do.


Greater Manchester: A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was set to be introduced on 30 May this year, but government has agreed to postpone the implementation due to the impact of coronavirus. Representatives of Greater Manchester are now working with government to deliver a new Clean Air Plan by July 2022.


Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, said: “Now that we have secured a delay in the introduction of the Greater Manchester CAZ, there is an opportunity to reset the debate and find a much fairer solution.”


Defending himself from allegations that it was himself who was the main “architect” of the CAZ, which faced criticism, Mr Burham hit back saying: “There have been many claims that I am the main architect of the CAZ. This narrative has been mainly promoted by the Conservative Party.


“It is the Government which holds the primary decision-making role. Ministers set the precise terms of the directives placed on each of our 10 councils – and have final sign-off on any local plan developed by the councils. At local level, the formal decision-makers are the individual councillors in the 10 local authorities who vote on the local response to the Government directive.”


Birmingham: Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone covers all of the roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road. It has been in operation since 1 June 2021. Currently cars, taxis and LGV’s, which don’t meet requirements, pay a daily charge of £8. Coaches, buses and HGV’s pay a daily charge of £50.


Stephen Arnold, Head of Clean Air Zone at Birmingham City Council has said: “We have a comprehensive package of funding to support Birmingham’s taxi community with the upgrade or replacement of vehicles that don’t meet the emission standards for the Clean Air Zone.


“We have worked closely with drivers and their representatives to ensure that there is a wide range of funding options that suit the needs of private hire and hackney carriage drivers. We have also worked closely with the trade to ensure that everyone was aware of the introduction of the scheme and the support that was being made available.”


Sheffield: The council has said it will introduce a CAZ later this year to help bring NO2 emissions within legal limits set out by central government. Vehicles are to meet these minimum requirements: Taxi and private hire vehicles must be at least Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol – LGVs such as vans, campervans and pickup trucks and minibuses must be at least Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol – buses and coaches must be at least Euro 6 diesel – HGVs must be at least Euro 6 deisel.


Vehicles that do not meet these minimum standards will be charged; £10 per day for LGVs and taxis - £50 per day for coaches, buses and HGVs.


Portsmouth: Launching on 29 November 2021, Portsmouth’s CAZ issues a daily charge to drive in the zone. For non-compliant vehicles such as buses, taxis, private hire vehicles, coaches and HGVs that don’t meet Euro 6 standards if diesel, or Euro 4 standard if petrol, a charge is implemented. For taxis and private hire vehicles, that charge is £10 per day. All of the other types of vehicles listed, the charge is set at £50 per day. Privately used vehicles are not currently charged to drive in the zone.


Bath: With an active CAZ, which runs from midnight to midnight, 7 days a week, all year round, Bath charges non-compliant vehicles anywhere from £9 all the way up to £100. Taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses, vans, LGVs, campervans, as well as some four-by-fours which don’t meet the minimum standards are charged £9 per day. Trucks and lorries which fail to meet the standards are hit the heaviest with a daily charge of £100.


A number of other cities are set to introduce Clean Air Zones this year, including Bradford and Bristol.

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