Clean air zones?

Drivers in polluting vehicles could be penalised under plans

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Clean Air Zones - what are they and where are they? | RAC Drive

In 2015, the government revealed plans to improve air quality in cities, with the introduction of five Clean Air Zones, to be operational by 2020. With that date nearing, we take a look at what a clean air zone might consist of, where they are likely to be and how they will affect UK motorists.

What are Clean Air Zones?

A Clean Air Zone is an area in which a local authority has brought measures into place to improve the air quality.

Initially, it was thought that the Clean Air Zones would apply only to buses, taxis and HGVs. However, following a legal challenge, this was widened to include non-compliant private vehicles – meaning private motorists may be affected by them, not just commercial operators.

The creation of Clean Air Zones in major UK cities and possibly beyond is part of the government’s broader Air Quality Plan, which aims to improve air quality and address sources of pollution.

By working at a regional level, it is hoped that local authorities and businesses can take the most effective steps locally to contribute to improved air quality at a national level.

There will be two types of Clean Air Zone: non-charging and charging.

In a non-charging Clean Air Zone, the focus is on improving air quality, without charging money for vehicles entering the zone. Measures can include retrofitting certain vehicles; traffic flow management to reduce vehicle emissions where evidence suggests this approach would be effective on the road in question; rerouting some traffic or other local solutions.

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