Clean Air Zones

Evidence shows that NO2 levels have risen to consistently over 90% of pre-lockdown levels in many places.  Clean Air Zones are one of the measures being put in place to reduce these NO2 emissions in the worst effected cities.  This is the latest update on the implementation of CAZs in cities across England.

Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone
The scheme will go live on 1 June 2021. A daily charge of £100 will apply to the heaviest-emitting HGVs, buses and coaches that enter the zone, but there will be no charge for cars and motorbikes. Non-compliant vans, taxis, private hire vehicles and minibuses will pay £9 a day. Pre-Euro 6 diesel vehicles and pre-Euro 4 petrol vehicles will be charged under the CAZ.

Bath North East Somerset’s Clean Air Zone
The CAZ will take effect on 15 March 2021 which makes it the first CAZ to go live outside London. Charges do not apply to all vehicles. Private cars and motorcycles will not be charged, and other vehicles will only be charged if they exceed Bath’s new emission standards.

Leeds Clean Air Zone - will not be implemented
As a result of early action by Leeds City Council, nitrogen dioxide levels have been reduced to below the statutory requirement. This means the city has achieved compliance with the legal limit of 40 microgrammes of NO2 per metre cubed ahead of expectations. So a Class B Clean Air Zone is no longer required and will not be implemented.

Leeds City Council will remain within the NO2 Programme for monitoring and evaluation purposes. The government will support the council to make sure improvements are maintained in the long term by continuing to fund measures to lock-in improvements in the fleet, for example in the taxi/PHV sector.

Bristol Clean Air Zone 
Bristol is working on an ambitious set of green transport measures and has launched a third consultation survey in the event that it does still have to implement a charging zone.  These are the two options:

Option 1: a Clean Air Zone covering a small area of central Bristol, where older and more polluting commercial vehicles and polluting private cars pay to drive in the zone.

Option 2: Option 1 plus a larger charging zone where older, more polluting commercial vehicles, but not private cars, charged to drive in the zone.

While these are being developed, and their impact on air quality fully understood, the Government is keen to see progress continue on the Clean Air Zone, so no time is wasted in improving air quality.

Air quality news

Government call for evidence
The government wants to know of any public bodies other than local authorities themselves that should help to reduce emissions. The bodies named will then be designated as Air Quality Partners to help cut emissions. The Call for evidence on 'Air Quality Partners' to support local authorities closes on 18 January.

Reducing air pollution could boost the UK economy
A new study by the CBI commissioned by the Clean Air Fund says reducing air pollution could boost UK economy by £1.6bn a year.  The report Breathing life into the UK economy quantifies the economic benefit to the UK of meeting WHO Air Quality guidelines which are stricter than the current UK legal limits.  Things like a reduction in premature deaths, sickness absence and improved productivity at work would result from improved air quality.