Last edited 29 Jan 2021

Clean Air Zone

On 17 December 2015 the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced plans to create Clean Air Zones (CAZ’s) in in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020 to improve air quality in those cities.

Charges will be introduced in these air quality hotspots to discourage the most polluting vehicles, such as old buses, taxis, coaches and lorries. Newer vehicles that meet the emission standards will not have to pay the charge, and private car owners will not be affected. This is intended to reduce pollution in city centres and encourage the replacement of old, polluting vehicles with modern, cleaner vehicles.

Local authorities will carry out scoping studies, then consult on the details of the zones. They will only be able to set charges at levels designed to reduce pollution, not to raise additional revenue.

Other measures may include the introduction of park and ride schemes, signage, changes in road layouts and the provision of infrastructure for alternative fuels.

The then Environment Secretary, The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP said, “We want to ensure people can continue to drive into city centres and by targeting action at the most polluting coaches, taxis, buses and lorries we will encourage the use of cleaner vehicles.”

On 13 October 2016, DEFRA launched a consultation seeking views on the implementation of Clean Air Zones in England and on the draft regulations, along with the associated impact assessment.

The consultation closes on 9 December 2016.

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