Low emission zone map: Do you have to pay the CAZ, LEZ, ULEZ or ZEZ charge?


Drivers of older cars across Britain will soon have to come to terms with the concept of emissions tax zones in the most polluted cities that could turn vehicle ownership from a convenience to a burden.

Under government orders, councils have been told to curb their air pollution levels – and to do so, they should rid their roads of the dirtiest vehicles.  

Some 15 in total will or plan to introduce similar zones for motorised vehicles. Here’s a guide to each one and when they are expected to launch. 

The orange area shows the original ULEZ limit. The much larger yellow section shows the widespread coverage of inner London – which is 18 times the initial size – now that it has been extended as of 25 October

LONDON – Introduced

What is it: Ultra Low Emission Zone charging older petrol and diesel vehicles in the capital 

When was it introduced: Enforced in the Congestion Charge Zone from 8 April 2019 – expanded to inner London from 25 October 2021 and due to cover all 33 London boroughs by the end of 2023

Emission tax type: ULEZ 

Is your car CAZ, LEZ, ULEZ and ZEZ compliant? 

Knowing your car’s Euro emissions rating is more important than ever, given the increasing number of levies and fines being introduced for older cars, especially diesels. 

Most Clean Air, Low Emission and Ultra Low Emission Zones being – or already – implemented impact pre-Euro 4 emissions petrol and pre-Euro 6 emission diesel cars.

It’s worth using the ULEZ checker online (or via your car’s V5/V5C logbook at the bottom of Page 2 in the section entitled ‘Exhaust Emissions’) to see which category your models falls into, though it roughly will be designated by when it was first registered, as listed below:

Euro 1 – from 31 December 1992

Euro 2 – from 1 January 1997

Euro 3 – from 1 January 2001

Euro 4 – from 1 January 2006 (common minimum standard for petrol cars)

Euro 5 – from 1 January 2011

Euro 6 – from 1 September 2015 (common minimum standard for diesel cars

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

Cost to car drivers:  £12.50 daily charge if a diesel car isn’t Euro 6 or petrol isn’t at least Euro 4

The capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been enforced within the limits of the Congestion Charge Zone (CCZ) since 8 April 2019, with drivers of diesel cars not adhering to Euro 6 emissions standards (generally registered from 2016) and petrols failing to meet Euro 4 (generally registered from 2006) having to stump up £12.50 a day to enter the zone. 

That’s on top of the £15 a day for the CCZ, taking the current total for entering central London to £24 if you don’t have the right motor.

ULEZ is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a week and is a daily charge. 

That means if you enter the zone at 23:00 and leave at 02:00, you will need to pay twice (£25). 

Driving a non-compliant car into the capital just once a week will rack up an annual bill of £650 – more than many drivers pay for insurance and road tax combined. 

Using an ineligible car five days a week will hammer drivers with a £3,250 bill per annum. 

It is enforced by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras on the outskirts of the zones and failed payment within 24 hours of entering the zone will result in fines of £160 (halved to £80 if paid within two weeks).    

The capital's Ultra Low Emission Zone has been enforced in Central London since April 2019. However, from October 2021 it expanded to cover much of the city, with some 140,000 people said to own cars that are not compliant and face £12.50 daily charges

The capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone has been enforced in Central London since April 2019. However, from October 2021 it expanded to cover much of the city, with some 140,000 people said to own cars that are not compliant and face £12.50 daily charges

The ULEZ was extended on 25 October 2021 to cover the hugely-populated area up to, but not including, the A406 North Circular and A205 South Circular roads – and there is no resident discount available.

TfL estimates that 100,000 cars per day will be affected by the ULEZ expansion along with 35,000 vans and 3,000 HGVs.

Based on these estimations, the ULEZ will bring in some £1,987,500 every day for the Greater London Authority. That’s almost £14million a week, or £723million a year.

However, the AA believes more than 300,000 people in the London area will be affected — many on lower incomes who will struggle to afford to trade up to a cleaner and more expensive car. 

Mayor Khan in March 2022 announced plans to expand the zone again from the end of 2023 to cover all 33 London boroughs. 

Bath's Clean Air Zone is designed to reduce air pollution in the centre of the city, though only by predominantly targeting buses and HGVs

Bath’s Clean Air Zone is designed to reduce air pollution in the centre of the city, though only by predominantly targeting buses and HGVs

Bath is the first city in England to introduce a Clean Air Zone outside of London - though it currently doesn't impact car drivers

Bath is the first city in England to introduce a Clean Air Zone outside of London – though it currently doesn’t impact car drivers

Types of Clean Air Zone explained and what they mean for the car-driving public

CAZ A – Buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs)

CAZ B – Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)

CAZ C – Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs and light goods vehicles (LGVs)

CAZ D – Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs LGVs and cars

BATH – Introduced

What is it: The first emissions tax introduced outside of London – but does not charge car drivers

When was it introduced: Enforced from 15 March 2021

Emission tax type: CAZ C

Vehicles charged:  Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs and LGVs

Cost to car drivers:  Zero 

The first CAZ in England outside of London launched on 15 March 2021 and demand the highest daily payments from drivers of buses and lorries that enter the centre of Bath – but private cars and motorbikes are exempt from the scheme, for now.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said the move could cut its air pollution to below legal levels by the end of 2021.  

Drivers of high-emission commercial vans are forced to pay a £9 fee and HGVs and buses £100. Private hire vehicles and taxis also have to pay £9 per day.

ANPR cameras are installed on all roads leading into the zone, and vehicle number plates will be checked against a DVLA database to make sure the area is enforced. 

Motorists with non-compliant, chargeable vehicles – including those from outside the UK – must declare and pay for their journey online or they will receive a penalty charge notice.

There are currently no plans for passenger cars and vans to face the daily charge.

BIRMINGHAM – Introduced

What is it: Daily charge for drivers of older petrol and diesel cars to enter the limits of the city ring road

When was it introduced: Enforced from 1 June 2021

Emission tax type: CAZ D

Vehicles charged: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs LGVs and car drivers 

Cost to car drivers:  £8 daily charge if a diesel car isn’t Euro 6 or petrol isn’t at least Euro 4

Birmingham’s CAZ D is Britain’s first pollution-related tax on drivers of passenger cars outside the capital. 

The zone’s border is Birmingham’s ring road, essentially meaning drivers of non-compliant motors will be stung each time they enter the city centre. 

All drivers of pre-Euro 4 petrol and pre-Euro 6 diesel cars will face a daily charge of £8 to drive within the limits of the A4540 Middleway Ring Road.

It was initially due to have come into force overnight on Tuesday 1 June 2021 but Birmingham City Council announced later that morning that it would ‘soft launch’ the scheme, with charging delayed for a fortnight.

This was reportedly due to the lack of local understanding and knowledge of the zone being introduced, which resulted in floods of complaints from motorists driving into the West Midlands city on the first day of operation. 

Enforcement of charges began on 14 June 2021, with one city councillor admitting: ‘We understand that not everybody in the city, despite all our extensive conversations, is aware of this particular project.’

The council-backed levy is expected to affect around a quarter of all cars on the city’s roads, according to the AA. 

The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It means a driver who enters the zone at 11pm and leaves after midnight will have to pay the charge twice

Birmingham City Council has estimated that a quarter of cars used in the city are non-compliant with the scheme

The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It means a driver who enters the zone at 11pm and leaves after midnight will have to pay the charge twice

All drivers of pre-Euro 4 petrol and pre-Euro 6 diesel cars will face a daily charge of £8 to drive within the limits of the A4540 Middleway Ring Road in the West Midlands city

All drivers of pre-Euro 4 petrol and pre-Euro 6 diesel cars will face a daily charge of £8 to drive within the limits of the A4540 Middleway Ring Road in the West Midlands city

The daily fee should be paid online and there is also a government-funded Clean Air Zone team you can call on 0300 029 8888 for assistance.

There is an allocated 13-day payment window for the scheme, so you can either pay six days before the day you use your non-compliant vehicle in the CAZ, on the same day you enter the zone, or up to six days after (up to 11.59 hours on the sixth day) you drove into the restriction.

The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and be policed by ANPR cameras. It means a driver who enters the zone at 11pm and leaves after midnight will have to pay the charge twice.

Those with ineligible vehicles who fail to stump up the daily amount will be slapped with a fine of £120 (reduced to £60 if paid within a fortnight).  

Read the reaction from drivers in Birmingham on the first day of the CAZ coming into force.  

Portsmouth's plans for a clean air zone cover a 3km-squared area, mostly to tackle emissions from traffic coming through the city to reach its ports

Portsmouth’s plans for a clean air zone cover a 3km-squared area, mostly to tackle emissions from traffic coming through the city to reach its ports

PORTSMOUTH – Introduced

What is it: Clean Air Zone to sting incoming vehicles but not car drivers

When was it introduced: Enforced from 29 November 2021

Emission tax type: CAZ B

Vehicles charged:  Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs and HGVs

Cost to car drivers: Zero

The charging CAZ in Portsmouth is approximately three kilometres square and tackles incoming traffic.

Private cars, motorcycles and vans are not charged, though older polluting HGVs, buses and coaches need to pay £50 per day to travel through the zone – and non-compliant taxis and private hire vehicles pay £10 per day. 

Portsmouth City Council has confirmed it received £6.6million in funding from the government to setup the zone.

Some of those funds have been used to install ANPR cameras at 39 locations on roads within the CAZ, allowing for the scheme to be enforced from 29 November.

A portion of the money will also be used to add public electric vehicle charge points around the city.  

These are the seven streets where the Oxford ZEZ will be first piloted under plans due to go lives in February

These are the seven streets where the Oxford ZEZ will be first piloted under plans due to go lives in February

OXFORD – Introduced

What is it: First Zero Emission Zone to be piloted that charges all but electric vehicles to enter eight city centre streets

When was it introduced: Pilot scheme launched 28 February 2022

Emission tax type: ZEZ 

Vehicles charged:  All drivers of vehicles with petrol, diesel or hybrid vehicles

Cost to car drivers:  £2 – £10 daily charge

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have introduced Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in the city centre.

The ‘pilot scheme’ will cover eight streets only: Bonn Square; Queen Street; Cornmarket; part of Market Street; Ship Street; St Michael’s Street; New Inn Hall Street; and Shoe Lane. 

Vehicles used in the zone would be subject to charges, depending on their emissions.

Zero-emission vehicles will escape any fee, while drivers of ultra-low emission hybrid cars (producing less than 75g/km CO2) will be charged £2 per fay from 28 February 2022, rising to £4 daily from 2025.

Drivers of petrol cars meeting at least Euro 4 standards and the latest Euro 6 diesels will pay £4 per day in 2022, rising to £8 per day from 2025, while any motors older than that will have to fork out £10 daily – and a massive £20 a day from 2025, under the current plans.   

The charging zone isn’t 24-hour operational, running between 7am and 7pm, and there are intended discounts and exemptions for some road users, including health and care workers, Blue Badge holders and students with financial hardship. Residents and businesses operating from inside the zone can apply for a 90 per cent discount while there is a 50 per cent discount for private hire vehicles. 

This year’s pilot will allow the councils to ‘test how the scheme will work before expanding it to a wider area’, those managing the ZEZ say. 

ABERDEEN, DUNDEE, EDINBURGH AND GLASGOW – Introduced (but not yet enforced) 

What is it: Low Emission Zones banning older petrol and diesel vehicles

When was it introduced: Introduced 30/31 May 2022 but not enforced until 1 June 2023 in Glasgow, 30 May 2024 in Dundee, 1 June 2024 in Aberdeen and Edinburgh

Emission tax type: LEZ

Vehicles charged: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs LGVs and car drivers 

Cost to car drivers:  Penalty Charge Notice of £60 (reduced by 50% if paid within 2 weeks) for non-compliant cars  

Glasgow's Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will be the first to be enforced across the four Scottish cities. The LEZ structure means it is an outright ban on the use of non-compliant cars rather than a charge. Ignoring the rules results in a PCN

Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will be the first to be enforced across the four Scottish cities. The LEZ structure means it is an outright ban on the use of non-compliant cars rather than a charge. Ignoring the rules results in a PCN

The four biggest Scottish cities – Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow – have introduced Low Emission Zones (LEZ), though with the intention of not enforcing the zones until from 2023.

Enforcement is scheduled to begin first in Glasgow from 1 June 2023, while Dundee will begin charging motorists from 30 May 2024 and Aberdeen and Edinburgh a day later from 1 June 2024.

The delay on enforcement is to give drivers and businesses time to prepare and replace their older – non-compliant – vehicles.

While all are LEZ, each local council has the freedom to adapt their own versions in order to meet their air pollution targets.

Each LEZ boundary ringfences each city centre and is an outright ban on vehicles that fail to meet the minimum required emission standards – Euro 6 for diesel cars and Euro 4 for petrols – rather than a charging zone like the aforementioned examples.

The restriction will also impact diesel-powered Euro VI HGVs and buses.

Instead of being able to pay a non-compliance charge, the LEZ will see owners of ineligible motors issued with a Penalty Charge Notice.  

The initial penalty charge for all non-compliant vehicles is set at £60, reduced by 50 per cent if it is paid within a fortnight.

A surcharge is also proposed whereby the penalty amount doubles with each subsequent breach of the rules detected in the same LEZ. The penalty charges are capped at £480 for cars and light goods vehicles and £960 for buses and HGVs.

After 90 days of last breaching the rules, the surcharge rate will be reset. 

The Scottish LEZs will operate continuously, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round, and be enforced by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras linked to a national vehicle licencing database. 

Some non-compliant vehicles will be allowed to use the zones without being issued a PCN. These include: police vehicles; ambulance and emergency vehicles; Scottish Fire and Rescue; Her Majesty’s Coastguard; National Crime Agency; Military vehicles; Vehicles for disabled persons (including blue badge holders); Showman’s vehicles.

‘Historic vehicles’ will also be exempt – likely classic cars over 40 years of age.  

BRADFORD – Introduced

What is it: Clean Air Zone that does not charge car drivers

When was it introduced: 26 September 2022

Emission tax type: CAZ C

Vehicles charged: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs and LGVs

Cost to car drivers: Zero

This is the Clean Air Zone boundary for Bradford, which was introduced in September 2022 - but doesn't affect car drivers

This is the Clean Air Zone boundary for Bradford, which was introduced in September 2022 – but doesn’t affect car drivers

The Bradford Clean Air Zone was introduced on 26 September 2023 and covers the city centre, Canal Road corridor, Shipley and Saltaire where pollution is highest. 

However, it doesn’t sting passenger car drivers or motorcyclists.

Instead, the zone only charges HGVs, LGVs, buses, coaches and private hire vehicles, with daily rate ranging from £7 to £50 for non-compliant vehicles.

A ‘comprehensive programme’ of grants and exemptions to help local businesses get ready for the CAZ and upgrade some non-compliant vehicles has been available and since seen that 92 per cent of taxis in the district are now CAZ compliant.

Small businesses can also apply for an exemption for up to three vehicles.

While car drivers will avoid charges,  Bradford Council intends to launch a ‘No Idling’ campaign to cut down on air pollution in the district. It would target motorists who keep their engine running, and keep spewing out fumes from their vehicles, while parked. 

Bristol's Clean Air Zone will charge drivers of older vehicles from 28 November. However, there are a number of exemptions, with those earning less than £26,000 a year avoiding the daily charge

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone will charge drivers of older vehicles from 28 November. However, there are a number of exemptions, with those earning less than £26,000 a year avoiding the daily charge

BRISTOL – Due 28 November 2022

What is it: Clean Air Zone charging drivers of older passenger cars who travel in the zone

When is it going to be introduced: 28 November 2022

Emission tax type: CAZ D

Vehicles charged:  Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs LGVs and car drivers

Cost to car drivers:  £9 daily charge if a diesel car isn’t Euro 6 or petrol isn’t at least Euro 4

Motorists using any of the roads marked in the blue area of this map of Bristol driving a CAZ non-compliant passenger car will be charged £9 a day from the end of November 2022

Motorists using any of the roads marked in the blue area of this map of Bristol driving a CAZ non-compliant passenger car will be charged £9 a day from the end of November 2022

Bristol’s Clean Air Zone will be introduced at the end of November 2022.

It will cover much of the city centre, be a 24-hour charging period that’s operational seven days a week, 365 days a year and only the latest and cleanest passenger cars are exempt from the charge. 

No vehicles are banned from entering Bristol’s Clean Air Zone, but drivers of diesels cars failing to meet Euro 6 standards and petrols not adhering to at least Euro 4 will have to pay £9 each time they enter the boundaries. 

Drivers who live within the limits of the CAZ will have to pay up each time they make a journey in their non-compliant vehicle.

Unlike other pollution-related zones, there will be a number of different exemptions available, though some of them could cause confusion, be difficult to process and most will only be eligible for just over a year.

Residents who live inside the CAZ can apply for an exemption, but that only lasts until 31 March 2023, meaning locals have just 16 months from the zone being introduced to replace an older car. 

Such as an exemption for low-income workers. This is only available to those who live outside the Bristol CAZ boundary, works more than 18 hours per week at a business premises located within the zone, earns less than £26,000 a year and no more than £13.51 per hour can apply. However, this exemption is only available until 31 March 2023.

Blue Badge holders will be exempt if the badged vehicle is registered to their home address. Those who ‘make occasional journeys’ in a non-compliant vehicle they don’t own can also apply for daily exemptions from the zone charge. Again, these exemptions both run out at the end of March 2023.

Hospital patients will escape the daily charge until 31 March 2023, then from 1 April a new exemption will apply for a ‘limited number of patients who are identified by clinical hospital staff as being regular outpatients’. Hospital visitors can only apply for short-term exemptions for seven days.

Other larger vehicle – including HGVs, buses and coaches – will be charged £100 for each day they enter the zone.

If a vehicle has to travel into the CAZ because of an official diversion from a road outside the zone, for example the M5, the vehicle will not be charged, the council says.

NEWCASTLE AND GATESHEAD – Due 30 January 2023

What is it: Clean Air Zone in Newcastle city centre, Gateshead and North Tyneside – but no charge for car drivers

When is it going to be introduced: 30 January 2023

Emission tax type: CAZ C

Vehicles charged:  Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs and LGVs

Cost to motorists with non-compliant cars:  Zero 

This is the proposed boundary for a clean air zone covering Newcastle's city centre from 30 January 2023

This is the proposed boundary for a clean air zone covering Newcastle’s city centre from 30 January 2023

Cameras and signs have already been installed ahead of the launch of Newcastle’s CAZ coming on 30 January 2023.

Having been delayed for months following a legal case regarding the installation of ANPR cameras to police the zone, it will soon be introduced to cover much of the city centre, including the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges.

Private cars will be exempt from the charge, however, older taxis, lorries, buses and coaches will have to pay £50 per day.

Vans and light goods vehicles will also be charged, but not until six months later from 30 July 2023.

This is to allow extra time for businesses and operators to replace their non-compliant vehicles, with the extra time allowance due to the national supply shortage of all vehicle types.

Newcastle City Council says on its website: ‘We’ve looked at alternative ways of reducing nitrogen dioxide levels but none were found to be effective as quickly as a Clean Air Zone.’

Sheffield City Council is shortly expected to announce plans for a CAZ C zone for 'late 2022', with it covering the inner ring road and the city centre, including Park Square and the A61/Parkway junction

Sheffield City Council is shortly expected to announce plans for a CAZ C zone for ‘late 2022’, with it covering the inner ring road and the city centre, including Park Square and the A61/Parkway junction

SHEFFIELD – Due spring 2023

What is it: An inner-city Clean Air Zone targeted at the dirties vehicles – but not cars

When is it going to be introduced: Proposed for spring 2023

Emission tax type: CAZ C

Vehicles charged: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs and LGVs

Cost to car drivers: Zero

Sheffield City Council had originally proposed a Clean Air Zone for the city centre in 2018, with plans for it to be introduced and enforced from 2020.

However, the impact of Covid-19 on traffic levels saw vehicle use drop and decision makers delay the plans.

The city council is shortly expected to announce plans for it come in ‘spring2023’, with the zone covering the inner ring road and the city centre, including Park Square and the A61/Parkway junction. 

The intention is for a CAZ C zone, which means taxis and LGVs that do not meet the emission standards required will be charged £10 a day and coaches, buses and HGVs will be charged £50 to drive within the zone.

Private cars will not pay because they only contribute to 50 per cent of the inner city pollution despite making up 80 per cent of the traffic, the council said.

LIVERPOOL – Cancelled

What is it: A proposed Clean Air Zone has been rejected by the city council over fears it would be too expensive for drivers

When was it going to be introduced: Proposed for 2023

Emission tax type: CAZ (unconfirmed class) 

Vehicles charged:  Unconfirmed

Cost to car drivers:  Unconfirmed

Liverpool Council has been preparing to launch a public consultation on the creation of a Clean Air Zone to improve air quality in the city, however, the city council has rejected it saying it would be too expensive and not as effective as first thought.

Instead, it is putting forward a new Clean Air Plan, with measures including altering the use of traffic lights to ease congestion and penalties for those who leave their engines idling.

MANCHESTER – Cancelled

What is it: Clean Air Zone for Greater Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan

When was it going to be introduced: 30 May 2022

Emission tax type: CAZ C

Vehicles charged: Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs and LGVs

Cost to car drivers: Zero

Plans to introduce a Clean Air Zone in Greater Manchester were scrapped in May 2022 by Mayor Andy Burnham.

Mr Burnham instead announced new proposals for a non-charging zone, which will have to be agreed by government, with incentives for old and polluting vehicles to be eligible for grants to replace them.

He said: ‘We are going into a negotiation. The red line is, we will not accept a charging clean-air zone in Greater Manchester.

‘And if is that what the Government wants, it will have to impose it.’

Greater Manchester’s original plan to charge road users from May this year was ‘paused’ in February after the Government and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) agreed to delay the scheme until 2026.

It was intended to be a joint charging CAZ to cover all or parts of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan and the cities of Manchester and Salford to cover most of the whole of Greater Manchester, the the plan was to not include private cars, with buses and lorries charged £60 a day to use the region’s roads.

Vans and minibuses would have been charged £10 a day and taxis registered in Greater Manchester, £7.50 a day, from the following year, 2023 and, at the same time, a charge of £60 for coaches will apply.

A joint CAZ C for Greater Manchester was intended to cover all or parts of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan and the cities of Manchester and Salford to cut air pollution in those areas. However, it was scrapped in May 2022 by Mayor Andy Burnham

A joint CAZ C for Greater Manchester was intended to cover all or parts of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan and the cities of Manchester and Salford to cut air pollution in those areas. However, it was scrapped in May 2022 by Mayor Andy Burnham

Mr Burnham and other politicians had faced growing criticism from some drivers and political rivals over the scheme.

But the mayor said the scheme was never about raising revenue and he would always look to protect jobs and business from any clean-air plans, which were mandated by central government.

Mr Burnham said he, and other council leaders, ‘had listened’ and the current plans were a ‘substantially different’ pathway to clean air.

By the increasing use of electric vehicles and by concentrating on converting to electric buses and other measures, reporters were told the clean air targets set for 2026 can be met without charging some road users.

The zone will still be used, along with cameras, to monitor pollution and identify traffic travelling through the region and to identify those local vehicles which could qualify for money to convert to electric.

Mr Burnham said the change in plans was not a climbdown and GMCA had changed its plans because they would not work post-pandemic and a clean air zone was now possible without charging for road use.

He added: ‘I don’t see how you could possibly call that a climbdown. It’s been a journey. It’s not about a climbdown. It never was invented here.

‘We were required to act within a very strict framework. A plan agreed pre-pandemic was not going to work in the post-pandemic time.

‘We’ve negotiated the position that allows for a non-charging zone. So what we’ve tried to do all the way through this is make it manageable for our residents and for our businesses.’

Councillor Andrew Western, lead for Clean Air in the region added: ‘We will be negotiating with, asking them to accept the principle of non-charging.

‘If it is not accepted, that is a government decision not to accept that. We may well potentially be asking for more funding.’

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

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