A new tariff being brought in could charge drivers up to £50 a day to use their vehicle. In London, the fees are set to hit heights of £24 as the £12.50 Ultra Low Emissions Zone charge will need to be paid in conjunction with the Congestion Charge Zone fee of £11.50.
Lorry drivers face paying £100 a day to use their vehicle in a bid to clamp down on dangerous air pollution. Elsewhere in the UK, similar charges and Clean Air Zones have been proposed and approved in a number of other cities.
Newcastle, Gateshead, Tyneside, Leeds, and Birmingham are all expected to introduce CAZs to tackle the high levels of pollution in city centres.
In Leeds, the zone will tackle larger vehicles and car owners will actually escape the fee. Buses and coaches and HGVs must pay a £50 charge while taxis and private hire vehicles must pay £12.50.
Private cars, light goods vehicles (LGVs), vans, motorcycles and any other vehicles escape with no charge. The CAZ in Leeds will come into force on 6th January 2020.
It has been met with backlash from the Road Haulage Association who described it as a “punitive tax on the industry sector that Leeds relies on to maintain its economy and local businesses will inevitably be put at risk.”
A new pollution charge is also expected to be bright to Newcastle and Gateshead. Motorists driving lorries and buses face £50 charges while car owners and van drivers face £12.50 charges.
There could also be a £3.40 tariff placed on three major bridges in the city to further deter motorist from driving in the city.
Clean air zones are being introduced into the UK
As a result, Gateshead and Newcastle are expected to be included in the CAZ. The affected bridges are proposed to be the Tyne, Redheugh and Swing Bridges linking the two cities.
Nick Forbes, Labour leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “This is a public health crisis that has been several decades in the making.
“We have a responsibility both legally and morally to do something about it.”
A consultation into the introduction of a CAZ will run from 6th March to 17th May this year. Birmingham City Council is also planning on bringing in a charge of £8 a day for non-compliant private cars, taxis and vans.
Much like in Leeds and Newcastle, HGVs lorries and coaches will pay £50 per day. All roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road will be covered by the Clean Air Zone boundary.
Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “The CAZ will represent a significant change in terms of the way people travel around the city, so it is important that those who rely on the use of vehicles for their business are able to make the necessary preparations and access the relevant support ahead of its implementation in January 2020.”
The only charge so far that is coming into force in 2019 is the Ultra Low Emissions Zone fee which charges motorists £12.50 a day to enter the congestion charge zone.
Anyone who fail to pay the charge will have to fork out £160 fine, which will be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
Unlike the CCZ which is in force between the hours of 7:00 am and 18:00 pm Monday to Friday the ULEZ runs 24-hours a day seven days a week.
Therefore, London car owners face paying £24 a day to use the one if they car does not imply with the emissions standard.
To dodge the charge petrol cars must comply with Euro 4 emissions standard (typically made before 2006) and diesels must meet the Euro 6 emissions charge (those made before 2015).
Vans, ambulances and minuses must also pay £12.50 to enter the zone daily if they do not comply while lorries and coaches face charges of £100.
The zone could cost motorists thousands extra a year to use if they enter it frequently. London Mayor Sadiq Khan desired air pollution in London as a ‘public health emergency.’
Emissions contribute to the premature deaths of 40,000 annually
He said: “London’s toxic air is a public health emergency and the introduction of ULEZ is exactly the sort of bold action that is required to deal with it.
“I’m delighted we were able to bring the introduction of the zone forward to April this year, ensuring people both in and outside the zone experience the benefits of ULEZ sooner.”
Air pollution is thought to contribute to 40,000 deaths annually across the country. According to figures form the Mayor’s office 438 schools in the capital are in areas exceeding legal air quality levels.
Emissions can cause lung damage in children, breathing illnesses and heart disease risks in adults.
The ULEZ is expected to contribute to improved air quality for millions of people in London and reduce exhaust NOx emissions by up to 45 per cent in 2020, claims the Mayor’s office.
While there has been some positive reaction to the new zones coming into force across Britain there has been some opposition.
Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett said: “This is yet another example of the government using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”
To mitigate some of the affects it will have on lorry drivers and small business owners there are scrapped schemes being introduced.
Sadie Khan set aside £25 million to help these motorists and low income families receive necessary support to switch to a lower emissions car.