Low Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones: What to Expect | The Taxi Centre

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Low Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones: What to Expect

Low Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones: What to Expect

Many councils across the country have introduced Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and Clean Air Zones (CAZ) within their cities to restrict the use of highly polluting vehicles. The main goal of these areas is to reduce pollution levels and improve air quality. Vehicles that do not meet set emission standards will be charged to enter and drive through the zones, to encourage individuals to switch to a more efficient vehicle or use public transport.

Low Emission and Clean Air Zones are already in operation in cities such as London, Bath, Oxford, Portsmouth and Birmingham and there are plans to introduce them across more UK cities.

Here is everything you need to know to be prepared.

What vehicles meet Low Emission Zone and Clean Air Zone standards?

Generally, Low Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones will allow free access to vehicles that meet the following standards:

    • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans (this will apply to most petrol vehicles that were registered after January 2006)
    • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans (this will apply to most diesel vehicles that were registered after September 2015, however some diesel vehicles registered after 2012 will also be compliant)
    • Hybrid cars and vans that meet Euro 4 standards if using petrol and Euro 6 standards if using diesel
    • All electric vehicles are LEZ and CAZ compliant as they emit zero tailpipe emissions

 

It’s best to double-check whether your vehicle will meet the emission standards before you enter a restricted zone – you can find out the emission standard of your vehicle in your handbook.

When are changes expected in my area?

Several cities across the UK are planning on introducing Low Emission or Clean Air Zones in the near future. Find out what to expect in your area.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen City Council is working to introduce a Low Emission Zone in 2022, planned to cover all of Union Street and extend from Albyn Grove in the west of the city centre to Commerce Street in the east. There will be a two-year grace period for all vehicles to allow individuals time to prepare and adjust – therefore, the LEZ will come into full effect in June 2024.

The charge for entering the LEZ in a vehicle that does not meet the emission standards is £60, which will be reduced to £30 if it is paid within 14 days.

Vehicles charged: non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, light goods vehicles and private vehicles.

Bradford

The Bradford Clean Air Zone will cover the Bradford outer ring road and the area within this, extending along the Aire valley corridor to include Shipley and Saltaire. It will come into effect in spring 2022. The charge for vehicles that do not meet the requirements is £50 for buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles and £7 for private hire vehicles, taxis and light goods vehicles.

Vehicles charged: non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles and light goods vehicles. Private vehicles have been excluded from the charges; however, this could change further down the line.

Bristol

Bristol City Council is ready to introduce a Clean Air Zone starting in summer 2022. It will cover an area of the city centre, a portion of Old Market and a section just south of the river.

The charge for non-compliant vehicles to enter the area is £100 for heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches and £19 for taxis and vans.

Vehicles charged: non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, light goods vehicles and private vehicles.

Dundee

The Dundee LEZ will cover an area within the A991 inner-ring road network. It is due to be introduced in 2022, with a two-year grace period for all vehicles, meaning enforcement will come into effect from mid-2024.

Entering the LEZ in a vehicle which is not compliant with the emission standards will cost £60 - however this fee will be reduced to £30 if it is paid within 14 days.

Vehicles charged: non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, light goods vehicles and private vehicles.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone around the city centre will include the West End, Queen Street and the New Town, Greenside at the top of Leith Walk, Abbeyhill on the east, Pleasance, the Meadows and Tollcross. It will be introduced in 2022 with a grace period of two years, meaning drivers will have until June 2024 before any charges will be issued for non-compliant cars.

Driving within the zone in a vehicle which does not meet the emission standards will cost £60 - reducing to £30 if it is paid within 14 days.

Vehicles charged: non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, light goods vehicles and private vehicles.

Glasgow

Glasgow City Council introduced its Low Emission Zone in 2018 with Phase 1 initially only applying to local bus services. Phase 2 is planned to come into force in June 2023, which will apply to all vehicles. The LEZ covers an area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the river Clyde to the south and High Street to the east.

You will be charged £60 if you enter the LEZ in a non-compliant vehicle, however if you pay the fee within 14 days of receiving it, the cost will reduce to £30.

Vehicles charged: non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, light goods vehicles and private vehicles.

Newcastle

Newcastle city council had originally planned to implement a Clean Air Zone which would cover most of the city centre by January 2021, however a number of delays have pushed this back until July 2022. The area will impact drivers that use the Tyne Bridge and Central Motorway, with the bridge being reduced to one lane in each direction.

Heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches that do not meet emission standards will be charged £50 to enter the CAZ, whilst non-compliant taxis and vans must pay £12.50 to enter.

Vehicles charged: non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles and light goods vehicles. Private vehicles have been declared exempt from the tolls for now, but this may change in the future.

Sheffield

The Clean Air Zone in Sheffield city centre is planned to cover the inner ring road and all roads in the city centre, including Park Square and the A61/Parkway junction. It’s set to be rolled out in early 2023, with charges starting straight away.

Entering the zone in a non-complaint vehicle will cost £50 for coaches, buses and heavy good vehicles, and £10 for taxis and vans.

Vehicles charged: non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles and light goods vehicles. Private vehicles have been made exempt from the charges for now, but this could change in the future.

What can I do to meet emission requirements?

If your vehicle will not meet the requirements of the Low Emission Zone before it is enforced, you can explore the following options:

Replace your vehicle

You can upgrade your vehicle to a newer, more efficient model that will meet the criteria.

Retrofit your vehicle

You may be able to fit your vehicle with some emissions reduction technology to help it meet the LEZ or CAZ standards. Any retrofit work must be approved by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).

If you are searching for a LEZ or CAZ compliant taxi, then look no further! At The Taxi Centre, we offer a range of new and used taxis, and our friendly team can help you find one which will meet the new emission standards.

Follow the links below for more information:

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