Clean air zones: October 2022 update

Clean Air Zone Update

In the UK, one of the leading causes of air pollution is transportation. Some areas across the UK fail to meet the national air quality objectives, so for that reason local authorities are introducing clean air zones (CAZ) in order to tackle the high levels of CO2 in the air.

CAZ is an area where the pollution exceeds the limits of the EU limit value, and measures are taken in order to improve air quality. Vehicles which do not meet the emission standards need to pay a daily charge. Electric vehicles are exempt, due to their zero direct emissions.

On 15 March 2021, a Class C clean air zone was introduced in the centre of Bath.

Vehicles which don’t meet the emission standards have to pay the following daily charge:

  • Minibuses, vans and taxis – £9
  • Trucks, lorries, busses and coaches – £100

Private cars and motorbikes are not charged, even if they’re used for work.

To find out more information about Bath’s clean air zone click here. 

On 1st of June 2021, Birmingham launched a Class D clean air zone. The CAZ covers all roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road but not the Middleway itself. The daily charge to drive through Birmingham’s clean air zone is:

  •  Cars, taxis and LGVs (vans) – £8
  • Coaches, buses and HGVs – £50

For further information visit A clean air zone for Birmingham | Birmingham City Council.

On Monday 26th September 2022, Bradford introduced a Class C CAZ to tackle the city’s pollution levels, which are currently above the legal limits.

Vehicles which don’t meet the emission standards will need to pay the following daily charge to drive through Bradford’s CAZ.

  • Private hire minibus 5-8 seats (non- wheelchair accessible vehicles), private hire vehicles and hackney carriages – £7
  • LGVs and minibuses – £9
  • Coaches, buses and HGVs – £50

Charges will not apply to passenger cars and motorbikes, even if used for work.

More information can be found on Bradford clean air zone.

The Greater Manchester’s clean air zone was due to be introduced on 30th May 2022, however the plans are on hold after concerns were raised by the Mayor over the supply chain challenges in the market for vehicles which comply with the CAZ requirements, and the increasing cost of living.

The original CAZ plan included a Greater Manchester-wide category C charging clean air zone. Only the most polluting vehicles which don’t comply with the emission standards would have been charged between £7.50 to £60 to drive in the zone.

The local authorities have announced that they are committed to improve the air quality in the area, but in a way that doesn’t put jobs, livelihoods and businesses at risk.

Since the original plans have been scrapped, Greater Manchester submitted a new Clean Air Plan in July 2022 which is being reviewed by the government.

On Monday 3rd October, a CAZ was introduced in Newcastle and Gateshead to help improve the air quality.

  • The daily charge for non-compliant taxis, private hire vehicles, vans and light goods vehicle is £12.50
  • The daily charge for HGVs, buses and coaches is £50.

Private vehicles can enter the zone free of charge.

Charging will be introduced in 2 phases. Non-compliant taxis, private hire vehicles, buses, coaches and HGVs are going to be charged from 30 January 2023. Charges for vans and light goods vehicles will apply from July 2023 to allow additional time for owners to upgrade their vehicles due to national vehicle supply issues.

Find out more details, here.

Portsmouth is another city where CAZ class B has been approved and was launched in November 2021. The location of the proposed zone is  south west of Portsmouth.

The daily charge to travel through the zone for non-compliant vehicles is:

  • HGVs, buses and coaches – £50
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles – £10

Private cars, motorcycles and vans will not be charged.

To find out more information, click here.

Sheffield’s clean air zone class C will be launched in spring 2023, for the most polluting large good vehicles, vans, buses, coaches and taxis. Private cars and motorbikes will not be charged.


Find out more details here.

There are more areas across the UK where CAZ may be implemented in the future. If you need further information, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Find out more about exemptions, different types of clean air zones, emissions standards and refunds.