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11 new low emission zones in the UK for 2022

4-minute read

Catriona Smith

24 January 2022

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Clean air zones and emissions charges are gradually being introduced to improve air quality and reduce emissions in city centres across the UK.

Read on for an overview of which cities have these zones already, and the 11 cities planning to roll out similar areas for drivers throughout 2022.

Where can we expect new low emission zones?

A host of British cities have announced plans to introduce clean air zones and low emission charges this year. From key dates for your diary to which vehicles the charges will apply to, make sure you’re aware of what’s coming so you aren’t hit with unexpected penalties.

Oxford

Oxford has been running a pilot zone since summer 2021, and it plans to introduce Britain’s first zero emissions zone in February 2022.

It’ll be enforced from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.

Cost: Ranging from £0 for zero-emission vehicles to £10 a day for vehicles not meeting the emissions standards.

Check Oxford City Council’s website for information on streets affected by the new zone, as well as for exemptions and discounts.

Manchester

Manchester has revealed plans to introduce an emissions zone on 30 May 2022.

This zone won’t affect private cars and will only apply to buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs, and LGVs. However, the Guardian reports that Greater Manchester authorities have asked the government to delay the roll-out for vans, taxis and private hire vehicles.

Cost: £7.50 to £60, depending on your vehicle.

Find out more about where the scheme will be operating in Greater Manchester and check if you're eligible for funding.

Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Glasgow

Four Scottish cities are set to introduce low emissions zones in Spring 2022, although these won’t be enforced until 2024.

Vehicles that don’t meet the emissions standards won’t be allowed to drive in the zone. These zones will apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Vehicles it applies to: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs, and car drivers.

Penalty charge: £60 (reduced by 50 per cent if paid within two weeks) if driving a non-compliant vehicle in a low emission zone.

Find out more about Scotland’s low emission zones. Funding is also available to support eligible people prepare for the new zones, including retrofit grants and disposal grants.

Bristol

A new daily charge is coming to Bristol in Summer 2022.

Cost: £9 a day for cars, taxis, and light goods vehicles (under 3.5t).

Find out more about Bristol’s clean air zone and check if it'll affect you. There’s also financial support available to help people with the cost of paying the charge or upgrading their vehicle – this includes grants for small businesses and the self-employed based in the zone.

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Bradford

Bradford’s clean air zone is scheduled to launch in Summer 2022, although this won’t affect car drivers and motorcyclists.

Vehicles it applies to: HGVs, LGVs, buses, coaches, and private hire vehicles.

Cost: £7 to £50 a day (depending on your vehicle).

Find out more on Bradford Council’s website, including a map of the zones, grants for local businesses, and exemptions.

Newcastle

A clean air zone will apply in Newcastle from July 2022, although it won’t affect car drivers.

Vehicles it applies to: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs, and LGVs.

Cost: £12.50 a day for vans and taxis and £50 a day for buses, coaches, and HGVs.

There'll be no charge for vehicles that meet emissions standards and it won’t apply to car drivers. Find out more on Newcastle City Council’s website.

Liverpool

Liverpool City Council is considering a clean air zone and it’s expected to come in for the 2022-23 financial year.

Keep an eye on the local authority’s website for updates later in the year.

Sheffield

Sheffield is also considering a clean air zone for later this year.

Vehicles it applies to: Taxis, LGVs, HGVs, buses, and coaches.

Cost: £10 a day for taxis and LGVs that don’t meet the emissions standards, and £50 a day for HGVs.

What low emissions zones are already in place?

London

We reported on the expansion of London’s ULEZ back in October.

The ULEZ was first introduced in 2019 and expanded on 24 October 2021 to cover the North and South Circular Roads. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week (apart from Christmas Day).

Vehicles it applies to: Buses, coaches, taxis (registered black cabs exempt), private hire vehicles (PHVs), heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), light goods vehicles (LGVs), and car drivers.

Cost: £12.50 a day.

You can use TFL’s congestion charge tool to check if the charges apply to your vehicle.

The penalty charge for not paying the emissions tax is £160 (or £80 if you pay within two weeks). Find out how to pay here.

Bath

While this doesn’t apply to cars, Bath has been running a clean air zone since 21 March 2021.

Vehicles it applies to: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs, and LGVs.

Cost: £9 to £100 a day, depending on your vehicle.

Birmingham

Birmingham’s clean air zone was introduced on 1 June 2021 and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Vehicles it applies to: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs, LGVs, and car drivers.

Cost: £8 a day for cars that don’t comply with the emissions standards.

Portsmouth

Portsmouth’s clean air zone came in on 29 November 2021.

Vehicles it applies to: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, and HGVs.

If you drive a car, motorcycle, or van then you won’t have to pay the charge.

Keep an eye on updates from your local authority about low emissions zones so you don’t get caught out.

Photograph 1: Kara/stock.adobe.com

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