England Cracks Down On Car Pollution

The City Council of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England recently implemented its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) program, which has already begun to charge non-compliant vehicles.

The City Council introduced the concept of a Clean Air Zone in 2017, with the goal of reducing its dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).  NO2 readings taken between 2018 and 2022 have shown the city exceeds the legal NO2 limits in several places. To quickly alleviate the problem and help improve the health of residents, the Caz program is now being enforced.

Older, polluting vehicles are a major source of the air pollution. It’s expected that CAZ will encourage those with the oldest, most polluting vehicles who regularly drive into the zone to upgrade to a cleaner vehicle. The funding from the charges can only be spent on the costs to run the zone and on further improvements to local transport that reduce air pollution in Sheffield.

Charges will apply to the following vehicle types that do not meet the minimum standards when entering the Clean Air Zone boundary:

  • Taxis, including both hackney carriages and private hire vehicles, which are below Euro 6 Diesel or Euro 4 Petrol standards;
  • Light goods vehicles (LGVs) – such as vans, campervans and pickup trucks and minibusses –  which are below Euro 6 Diesel or Euro 4 Petrol standards;
  • Buses and coaches which are below Euro 6 Diesel standards; and 
  • Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) which are below Euro 6 Diesel standards.

“As a city which prides itself on its outdoor and green spaces it is crucial we implement necessary measures to ensure it is a safe place for all. Everyone deserves clean air,” said Sheffield City Council. councilor Mazher Iqbal, co-chair of the transport regeneration and climate policy committee.  “We are very aware of the challenges the introduction of the Clean Air Zone poses for businesses and vehicle owners and we empathize with those affected. We know it may impact some financially, that’s why we worked hard to secure the best financial package we could from the government for those who need support once the changes are live.”