GB/EN

Clean Air Zones

What do Clean Air Zones mean for your fleet vehicles and company car drivers? 

Concerns around air quality have led to the rapid introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) in many UK cities. Requirements and charges vary, so it’s important fleet managers and company car drivers understand the latest regulations and understand the implications on fleet vehicles. 

Latest updates on Clean Air Zones: 

London 

The established Congestion Charge Zone has been supplemented with an Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which came into force in April 2019. The ULEZ and Congestion Charge Zone cover the same area but require different standards. Charges also apply at different times of day. 

 

Congestion Charge Zone

Ultra-Low Emission Zone

Time of operation 

7am to 10pm every day except Christmas Day 

24 hours a day, every day except Christmas Day 

Charges 

£15 per day. AutoPay (£10 annual fee) offers no discount. 

£12.50 per day for cars and vans up to 3.5t 

£100 for heavier vehicles 

Vehicles exempt from charges 

 

CO2 emissions below 76g/km 

with a minimum 20-mile zero emission range 

Petrol – Euro 4 or better 

Diesel – Euro 6 or better 

Exempt SEAT models 

Mii electric, Leon e-HYBRID

All 

Planned changes for London

From 24 October 2021 the cleaner vehicle discount will change so the only vehicles exempt from the congestion charge will be battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Exempt SEAT models Mii Electric

From 25 December 2025, the cleaner vehicle discount will be discontinued so all vehicle owners will need to pay to enter the Congestion Charge Zone.

From 25 October 2021 the ULEZ is expanding from central London to create a single larger zone up to, but not including, the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205). 

For more information, please see: 

Congestion Charge Zone 
Ultra-Low Emission Zone 
 

Bath

Bath’s Clean Air Zone will come into effect from 15 March 2021, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Private cars and motorcycles will not be charged even if they are used for work.

 

Bath Clean Air Zone

Times of operation 

24/7, 365 days a year 

Charges 

£9 per day for taxis and private hire vehicles

£9 for vans, light goods vehicles, pick-ups and campervans

£100 for heavier vehicles

Vehicles exempt from charges 

Petrol – Euro 4 or better 

Diesel – Euro 6 or better 

Hybrids are exempt

Zero-emissions vehicles are exempt

Exempt SEAT models 

All


Birmingham 

Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone will come into effect from 1 June 2021, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It covers the area encircled by the inner ring road, the A4540 Middleway, but not Middleway itself. 

 

Birmingham Clean Air Zone

Times of operation 

24/7, 365 days a year 

Charges 

£8 per day for cars and vans 

£50 for heavier vehicles 

Vehicles exempt from charges 

Petrol – Euro 4 or better 

Diesel – Euro 6 or better 

Hybrids are subject to the same standards as petrol and diesel 

Zero-emissions vehicles are exempt 

Exempt SEAT models

All

For more information visit Brum Breathes


Bradford

Bradford’s Clean Air Zone is planned to come into effect from October 2021. The proposed zone will cover the city centre, Canal Road corridor, Shipley and Saltaire. Private cars and motorcycles will not be charged.

 

Bradford Clean Air Zone

Times of operation 

24/7

Charges 

£12.50 per day for taxis and private hire vehicles

£9 Minibuses, and LGVs

£50 for heavier vehicles 

Vehicles exempt from charges 

Minibuses/LGVs: Petrol – Euro 4 or better 

Minibuses/LGVs: Diesel – Euro 6 or better

Private hire vehicles: Euro 5/6 Petrol Hybrid

Hybrids are subject to the same standards as petrol and diesel 

Zero-emissions vehicles are exempt

Exempt SEAT models

All


Sheffield

Sheffield’s Clean Air Zone was planned for introduction in early 2021, covering the city centre and inner ring road. Charges would be in place for non-compliant lorries, buses, taxis and vans but private cars will be exempt. These plans are currently being reviewed due to the impact of coronavirus.

 

Sheffield Clean Air Zone

Times of operation 

TBC

Charges 

£10 per day for LGVs and taxis 

£50 for coaches, buses and HGVs

Vehicles exempt from charges 

Minibuses/LGVs: Petrol – Euro 4 or better 

Minibuses/LGVs: Diesel – Euro 6 or better 

Buses/Coaches/HGVs: Diesel – Euro 6 or better 

Taxis: ultra-low emissions (hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel cell) or LPG

Exempt SEAT models

All

For more information visit Sheffield.gov.uk
 

Leeds 

A Clean Air Zone was intended to be introduced from 6 January 2020 and was then delayed until at least January 2021. However, an announcement in October said that due to businesses switching to cleaner vehicles faster than expected a review by Leeds City Council and central government has concluded the Clean Air Zone is no longer required. 
 
For more information visit Leeds.gov.uk

Nottingham 

Nottingham was one of the first UK cities to develop a clean air plan, although a Clean Air Zone is not included. To reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions, Nottingham City Council plans to introduce a new fleet of low-emission buses, new standards for taxis, as well as adding more low emission vehicles to its fleet. 
 
For more information visit Transport Nottingham

Derby 

Like Nottingham, Derby has decided not to introduce a Clean Air Zone. To reduce CO2 emissions, the local authority is proposing new traffic management measures in some areas. A scrappage scheme is also being considered to remove the most polluting vehicles from the roads. 

Southampton 

Southampton has also decided against the introduction of a Clean Air Zone, focusing instead on a range of initiatives to improve air quality, including grants of up to £3,000 cashback in licence costs to eligible taxi owners who switch to a low emission vehicle.  

Glasgow 

A Clean Air Zone was introduced in Glasgow in 2018. Currently, the zone only applies to buses. Phase 2 was to start by 31 December 2022 but is currently awaiting a revised timetable. For Phase 2 all vehicles entering the zone will have to meet specified exhaust emission standards.  

Many other cities are investigating Clean Air Zones: 

  • Aberdeen – plans to identify a preferred option in early 2021
  • Bristol – re-examining proposals in the wake of Covid-19 and are considering two new options if air pollution returns to pre-Covid-19 levels
  • Cambridge – likely to focus initially on improving the bus fleet 
  • Cardiff – decided against a Clean Air Zone, instead focusing on a bus retrofitting programme, taxi mitigation measures and public transport improvements 
  • Dundee – proposed zone would be bordered by the Inner Ring Road, but allow access to city centre car parks 
  • Edinburgh – plans are currently in progress. Proposals are for a city centre boundary that would apply to all vehicles with a second, larger, citywide boundary applying to all commercial vehicles including taxis and private hire cars 
  • Fareham – no support for a Clean Air Zone. Measures to encourage walking and cycling, as well as encouraging taxis to change from older diesel vehicles to newer ones 
  • Greater Manchester – plans are for a charging Clean Air Zone from Spring 2022. Charges will apply to non-compliant commercial vehicles, taxis and private hire vehicles. Private cars will not be charged 
  • Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside – plans are for a charging Clean Air Zone to be introduced in 2021. Originally intended to launch in January 2021, this has been delayed until later in 2021. Charges will apply to non-compliant commercial vehicles, taxis and private hire vehicles. Private cars will not be charged 
  • Leicester – plans are for a Clean Air Zone focused on the inner ring road. Charges will apply to non-compliant taxis, buses and coaches only. Grants could be available to help certain affected drivers switch to electric or hybrid vehicles 
  • Liverpool – plans for a Clean Air Zone are currently being developed 
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent – the intention is to focus on measures to reduce air pollution levels, such as retrofitting buses, reducing private car use and encouraging more sustainable and active ways of travelling. The introduction of a charging Clean Air Zone is considered a worst-case scenario if all other measures have failed to deliver the necessary improvements in air quality
  • Oxford – the introduction of the city centre zero-emission zone has been delayed and is now likely to come into force in summer 2021. A charge of £10 per day will be applied to all non-compliant vehicles entering the zone between 7am and 7pm, 7 days a week. Zero emissions vehicles will be able to drive in the zone free of charge
  • Portsmouth – a consultation opened on 15 July to canvas opinions on a charging Clean Air Zone that would affect HGVs, buses, coaches, taxis and vans. The zone is required to be introduced by the end of 2021 
  • Reading – a range of options are currently being considered including a Clean Air Zone, congestion charge, workplace parking levy and emissions-based parking fees. It is unlikely that all four schemes will be introduced but two or three of the proposed schemes could go ahead
  • Slough – no plans are currently in place but council will consider implementing a Clean Air Zone at some point in the future 
  • Warrington – a Clean Air Zone was considered but cost was seen as prohibitive. However, it may still be explored at a later date