A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) has now been introduced for parts of Newcastle in order to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Confused about what this means for you? This blog post will hopefully answer your questions.
What is the CAZ and when does it start?
The CAZ is an area within Newcastle where measures have been put into place in order to improve air quality. The zone covers most of Newcastle city centre as well as the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges. Only buses, coaches, taxis, vans and heavy goods vehicles that do not meet Clear Air Zone emissions standards are affected by the zone. Private cars are currently not affected.
Map of the Clean Air Zone in Newcastle City Centre. View an interactive map on the Newcastle CAZ (Breathe) webpages.
The CAZ is now in place, however no charges will apply to vehicles (taxis, buses, coaches and HGVs) until 30th January 2023. Charges for vans and light goods vehicles will be delayed until July 2023 due to national vehicle supply issues.
Why do we need a CAZ?
Clean air is essential to our wellbeing. Poor air quality is linked to serious health conditions including heart disease, cancers and breathing problems. This can be especially serious in older people, young children and those who spend a lot of time driving. As a consequence, the government made it a legal requirement for councils to take action to reduce harmful levels of nitrogen dioxide emissions from vehicles. A CAZ is a highly effective way of doing this.
Newcastle isn’t alone in introducing a CAZ. Several other cities have implemented them including Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Portsmouth and soon Sheffield.
A CAZ will also support important efforts to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles in the city.
How do I know if my vehicle will be charged?
You can check if your vehicle is affected by the CAZ by using the government’s online vehicle checker.
Table showing a guide as to which vehicles meet the CAZ standards. Make sure to check your vehicle using the link above.
If your vehicle does not meet CAZ standards, you can apply for funding to help replace/upgrade it so that it is complaint with the new rules. There is eligibility criteria and advice on applying for a grant online on the Newcastle CAZ (Breathe) webpages.
Some vehicles are exempt from the new charges. These include emergency vehicles, agricultural vehicles, motor caravans and community transport vehicles. You can find a full list of national and local exemptions, and information on how to apply for an exemption, on the Newcastle CAZ (Breathe) webpages.
How does the CAZ affect Newcastle University?
Newcastle University has a fleet of commercial vehicles, for example, for the Estates and Facilities porter team, and some minibuses.
The University will be ensuring that all our vehicles are in line with CAZ policy.
What if I have further questions?
If you have any further general questions about the CAZ, email the local council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or for University-specific questions email the Estates helpdesk at email@example.com.