Clean Air Zone

A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is an area within the City, where targeted action is taken to improve air quality.  The area within Derby that will be designated as a Clean Air Zone has not yet been decided.

The Government has ordered us to take action to improve air quality and they have decided that the best way to do this is by creating Clean Air Zones. The reason they have ordered us to take action is because the Government have themselves been ordered to take action by the European Commission and also by the national courts, so both the Council and the Government have no choice but to act.

The Council has been working under a direction from Government to deliver a Clean Air Zone in Derby

No. Derby City Council have worked hard in Derby to design air quality improvement measures that do not include charging. Although we have considered measures that do include charging in two out of our three proposed options, our preferred option is to NOT charge people for driving into the City.

The Government require us to take action in the shortest possible time period. We predict that the measures will be introduced by 2020.

The issue of air pollution is being seen as a public health emergency, so the timescales for improvement are very challenging and the Council will be required to respond to the demands set by Government throughout the project.

Derby is one of a number of Local Authorities being asked to take action. This is because the Government had to comply with Regulations to improve air quality by 2010 and there are still areas in the UK which do not comply with the Limits.

The Government were then taken to court by a group of environmental lawyers and the courts then required tougher action from the Government.

The Government’s analysis has indicated that Derby was one of a number of local authorities where levels of roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) were likely to exceed the EU Limit Values in 2020, unless urgent action was taken. The Government then decided to request the creation of a Clean Air Zone in each of the problem locations as their preferred way of dealing with air pollution.

The Council is responding to Government by trying to design the best solution for Derby.  Consultation is being undertaken to help explain the current options being considered and to gain valuable feedback from anyone who might be affected to help inform the decision-making for the Clean Air Zone proposals.

The information on the options currently being considered explains the latest information available on the extent of the area covered by a Clean Air Zone.

There are two types of Clean Air Zone’s being considered; a voluntary (non-charging Clean Air Zone) and a charging Clean Air Zone (with two possible areas being considered).

We are continuing to work with Government to better define the requirements for the zone and to ensure that any zone best meets the needs of our city.

Derby City Council have already secured funding from DEFRA to support the investigation into Clean Air Zones and for some air quality improvement measures, but we still don’t know if we will be able to get funding for the other measures being proposed.

The Council does not have enough money to fund the measures without additional financial support and so we will continue to work with a wide range of partners and the Government to try and continue to secure funding.  This could be directly from central government or from other schemes and grants. Our aim is to assist affected individuals and groups to help address any impacts from a Clean Air Zone.

The three options currently being considered show that each of the options includes a whole package of measures.

We have also already received various grants for schemes that will help support the clean air zone project.

We’ve already asked this question and the Government’s current position is that Brexit will not affect the implementation of Clean Air Zones.

The EU Directive (Directive 2008/50/EC) that requires the Government to comply with the air quality limits has already been converted into UK Legislation (The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010), so the requirements will almost certainly remain even after we leave the EU.

The EU Directive is available to view online

Ideally, yes, we would want to see that the Clean Air Zone is facilitating the early uptake of low emission vehicles from older more polluting vehicles. However we recognise that people need help to change their vehicle.  The timescales are also very demanding and so we have made the Government aware that it will be difficult for affected operators and vehicle owners to upgrade to the relevant standards by the deadline.

We will work closely with anyone who could be impacted to make them aware of any available resources to help support the early take up of low emission vehicles.

The governments Clean Air Zone framework identifies the different classes of chargeable clean air zone. We are to consult on class D clean air zones (which includes all vehicles) as the initial work done for the feasibility study indicates this is what is required to address the air quality issues. Details of DEFRA’s Clean Air Zone classes can be seen below:

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

Vehicle Type Euro Category Euro Standard
Bus/Coach M3 (GVW over 5000 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref mass exceeding 2610 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

Euro VI
Taxi/Private Hire Minibus – M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref. mass not exceeding 2840 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

Passenger vehicle with up to 8 seats in addition to the driver

Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 6 (petrol)

Ultra low emission vehicles with significant zero emission range will never be charged for entering or moving through a Clean Air Zone

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

Vehicle Type Euro Category Euro Standard
Bus/Coach M3 (GVW over 5000 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref mass exceeding 2610 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

Euro VI
HGV N2 (GVW over 3500 kg and ref. mass over 2610 kg)

N3 (GVW over 5000kg)

Euro VI
Taxi/Private  Hire Minibus – M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref. mass not exceeding 2840 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

Passenger vehicle with up to 8 seats in addition to the driver

Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 6 (petrol)

Ultra low emission vehicles with significant zero emission range will never be charged for entering or moving through a Clean Air Zone

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

Vehicle Type Euro Category Euro Standard
Bus/Coach M3 (GVW over 5000 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref mass exceeding 2610 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

Euro VI
HGV N2 (GVW over 3500 kg and ref. mass over 2610 kg)

N3 (GVW over 5000kg)

Euro VI
Large Van N1 (GVW not exceeding 3500 kg and ref. mass over 1305 kg but not exceeding 2840 kg)

N2 (GVW over 3500 kg and ref. mass not exceeding 2840 kg)

Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 4 (petrol)

Minibus M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref. mass not exceeding 2840 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver) Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 4 (petrol)

Small Van/Light Commercial N1 (GVW not exceeding 3500 kg and ref. mass not exceeding 1305 kg) Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 4 (petrol)

Taxi/Private  Hire Minibus – M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref. mass not exceeding 2840 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

Passenger vehicle with up to 8 seats in addition to the driver

Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 6 (petrol)

Ultra low emission vehicles with significant zero emission range will never be charged for entering or moving through a Clean Air Zone

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

Vehicle Type Euro Category Euro Standard
Bus/Coach M3 (GVW over 5000 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref mass exceeding 2610 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver)

Euro VI
HGV N2 (GVW over 3500 kg and ref. mass over 2610 kg)

N3 (GVW over 5000kg)

Euro VI
Large Van N1 (GVW not exceeding 3500 kg and ref. mass over 1305 kg but not exceeding 2840 kg)

N2 (GVW over 3500 kg and ref. mass not exceeding 2840 kg)

Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 4 (petrol)

Minibus M2 (GVW not exceeding 5000 kg, ref. mass not exceeding 2840 kg and more than 8 seats in addition to the driver) Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 4 (petrol)

Small Van/Light Commercial N1 (GVW not exceeding 3500 kg and ref. mass not exceeding 1305 kg) Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 4 (petrol)

Cars/Taxis/Private Hire Passenger vehicle with up to 8 seats in addition to the driver Euro 6 (diesel)

Euro 6 (petrol)

Motorcycles and mopeds (optional)  Euro 3
Ultra low emission vehicles with significant zero emission range will never be charged for entering or moving through a Clean Air Zone

If the option to create a charging clean air zone was taken forward, then we would need to determine an appropriate level of change for each of the different vehicle types.

At the current time we have not determined what that charging level might be, however the table below gives an indication of the levels being proposed in other cities:

Vehicle Type Daily Charge
Cars & small vans between £6 and £12.50
Taxis and Private Hire drivers £12.50
Buses, Coaches & HGV’s up to £100

There is a general presumption that the requirements for charging Clean Air Zones will apply to all vehicles that travel into that area. There will be certain circumstances where exemptions and discounts from a charge might be appropriate however. This may be because of: a person’s particular circumstances; the type of vehicle concerned may be difficult or uneconomic to adapt to comply with a zone’s requirements; or the operation of a vehicle is particularly unique or novel.

Discounts and exemptions should, in general, be based on the idea that;

  • specialist vehicles that can never be compliant should qualify for an exemption from a charge;
  • a sunset (or grace) period should be allowed for specialist or more novel vehicles in order to allow them more time to be changed.

While exemptions should be kept to the minimum necessary in order to maximise the air quality benefits of a zone, we may also consider additional exemptions or discounts based on particular local or personal circumstances.

We may consider ways in which the cost of any charge to enter a charging area could be reduced for groups we have identified as facing particular challenges, so long as this is achieved in a way which does not slow down the achievement of the health outcomes of the zone. This might, for example, take into account the location of a charging zone in relation to key local businesses or services.

We will also need to think about enforcement relating to exemptions and discounts in designing a zone.

Central government has indicated that certain national exemptions will apply to a charging zone:

  • vehicles with a ‘historic’ vehicle tax class
  • certain types of non-road going vehicles which are allowed to drive on the highway such as agricultural machines; digging machines; and mobile cranes. Local Authorities should assess the nature of the specialist vehicle(s) concerned and provide for an exemption on a case by case, or by type, basis.
  • Military vehicles are exempt from charges by virtue of Section 349 of the Armed Forces Act 2006.
  • Emergency services use a range of specialist and/or novel or adapted vehicles, such as aerial ladders and major incident command vehicles where it may generally not be suitable to provide a replacement vehicle to the standards of the zone. These vehicles will be exempt from a charge. Local authorities may exempt emergency service fleets more generally should they choose to do so. Local authorities are encouraged to reach voluntary agreements with the emergency services over the use of vehicles in their fleet within Clean Air Zones. The agreements should be as ambitious as possible, including seeking to agree to use vehicles in line with the standards in this framework as far as practicable, particularly in the case of non-emergency work.

We need to consider the impact of the introduction of a charging zone on the residents who live within the area, as they will not have the choice open to others to avoid the zone. If a charging zone was taken forward as the option we could consider allowing residents who live within the zone additional time to comply with the vehicle restriction requirements by providing a discount on the charges.  This could be up to 100% discount for an appropriate time period (three years maybe appropriate at a gradually reduced rate of discount).

The Government published the Clean Air Zone Framework in May 2017 which gives further details on the different types of Clean Air Zones that can be introduced.