What are Clean Air Zones?
In an effort to improve air quality, some local authorities have started introducing clean air zones. If a vehicle exceeds emission standards, you may have to pay a charge if you drive within a clean air zone.
These zones are implemented in areas where air pollution levels are considered dangerous to health. Depending on the type of clean air zone, some vehicles may be required to pay and some are exempt. Some cities that currently include Clean Air Zones are:
Bath (Class C)
Birmingham (Class D)
Portsmouth (Class B)
Zones that are planned future Clean Air Zones are:
Bradford (26 September 2022)
Bristol (28 November 2022)
Greater Manchester (Still under review)
Sheffield (Early 2023)
Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) (Late Winter 2022 to Early 2023)
More cities are also expected to implement clean air zones in 2022.
There are also different types of clean air zones, from Class A to D.
Class A – Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles
Class B – Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles
Class C – Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses
Class D – Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses, cars, the local authority to include motorcycles
There are a few national and local exemptions from the charge. You’re automatically entitled to a national exemption and will not have to pay a charge if you are:
- Using a vehicle that is ultra low emission
- Driving a disabled passenger tax class vehicle
- Driving disabled tax class vehicle
- Driving a military vehicle
- Driving a historic vehicle
- Using a vehicle retrofitted with technology that is accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)
- Driving certain types of agricultural vehicles
You can check the gov.uk website for further guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-a-clean-air-zone
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