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Clean Air Zone charging begins one week today

A white road sign informs drivers on the side of the road that they could be liable for a Clean Air Zone charge if their vehicle is not compliant.

A week today the Clean Air Zone will begin charging non-compliant vehicles from midnight on Monday, February 27, 2023.

In 2017, the Government legally directed Sheffield City Council to implement the Clean Air Zone to reduce the dangerous levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in the city.

Since then, between 2018 and 2022, NO2 readings have regularly been taken and shown Sheffield exceeds the legal NO2 limits in a number of places. To tackle this problem quickly and improve the health of local people, a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is being introduced.

Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Co-Chair of the Transport Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, said:

“Protecting the health and wellbeing of current and future generations in Sheffield is a value I believe is shared across the whole of Sheffield. The Clean Air Zone is one of the ways in which the city can do its part to safeguard its future. At the heart of the Clean Air Zone there is a critical mission – to reduce exposure to N02 emissions for everyone and limit the devastating effects it can have. Currently, air pollution contributes to 1 in 20 deaths a year in Sheffield and action must be taken.

“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.

“We are very aware of the challenges the introduction of the Clean Air Zone poses for businesses and vehicle owners and we empathise 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 Government for those who need support once the changes are live.”

The 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 minibuses which are below Euro 6 Diesel or Euro 4 Petrol standards
  • Buses and coaches which are below Euro 6 Diesel standards
  • Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) which are below Euro 6 Diesel standards

Private cars and motorbikes will not be charged.

Vehicle owners can check whether they will be charged in Sheffield, and for other Clean Air Zones elsewhere, via the government’s online vehicle checker

LGV owners based in Sheffield or Rotherham could be eligible to apply for a temporary exemption until midnight on the 4th of June 2023.

An automatic exemption for Hackney Carriage taxis licensed with Sheffield City Council will be in place until midnight on the 4 June. Charging for these vehicles will begin from 5 June 2023.

The Council has a financial support package – more than £20m - in place to help those with the most polluting vehicles upgrade or replace their vehicles.

How will it help clean up Sheffield’s air?

Older, polluting vehicles are a major source of air pollution. The Clean Air Zone will encourage those with the oldest, most polluting vehicles who regularly drive into the zone to upgrade to a cleaner vehicle. The impact of the zone will be much broader than the city centre. Cleaner vehicles mean reduced emissions across the city, not just in the Clean Air Zone.

What are the charges?

Only the most polluting vehicles which do not meet the minimum standards will have to pay a charge, if they enter the Clean Air Zone. It is a daily charge enter the zone. The charging day runs from 12:00am to 11:59pm.

The charges are:

  • £10 per day for vans/LGVs and Taxis
  • £50 per day for coaches, buses and lorries/HGVs

Not all vehicles of the above types will be charged – in many cases vehicles will meet the minimum standards. Those who are unsure as to whether their vehicle will be charged are urged to check the online vehicle checker.

Will drivers be reminded to pay?

Drivers will not receive a reminder to pay the Clean Air Zone charge. Drivers must pay for their journey within a 13-day payment window:

  • 6 days before their journey
  • On the day of their journey
  • Up to and including 6 days after travel

How are charges paid?

Charges will be paid through the Government’s payment portal.

How will the money from charges be used?

The funding from the zone can only be spent on the costs to run the zone and on further improvements to local transport that reduce air pollution in Sheffield.