NEWCASTLE CLEAN AIR ZONE

There's a new in Newcastle! Here's everything you need to know.

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What is the Newcastle Clean Air Zone?

In 2017, the UK government issued a legal direction which required councils in Newcastle & Gateshead to take quick action to reduce illegal levels of traffic-related pollution in certain areas.

In order to achieve this, local authorities have approved plans for a phased introduction of a Newcastle & Gateshead's Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

The CAZ, which is now live, means that all commercial and private-hire non-compliant vehicles will charged a daily fee to enter the zone.

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Why does Manchester need a Clean Air Zone?

"Reducing the number of older, more polluting vehicles on our roads is one way that we can help to improve our air quality and protect our health." - Councillor John McElroy, cabinet member for the environment and transport at Gateshead Council

The CAZ has been introduced to encourage those driving older, more polluting vehicles to upgrade to cleaner models. Cameras are used to monitor vehicles entering the zone, so make sure you pay the charge in Caura if you need to!. Charging has now started for non-compliant taxis, private hire vehicles, buses, coaches and HGVs. However, non-compliant vans and LGVs will not face charges until July 2023 to allow extra time for vehicle replacements, which are currently affected by a national supply shortage.

If you drive a private car or motorcycle, you do not have to pay a charge.

For all commercial & private hire vehicles, you don't have to pay a charge if your vehicle meets the following emission standards:

  • Taxis: Euro 6 for diesel (typically after September 2015), Euro 4 for petrol (typically after 2005)
  • Vans & LGVs: Euro 6 for diesel (typically after September 2016), Euro 4 for petrol (typically after January 2006)
  • HGVs, buses & coaches: Euro VI (typically after 2014)
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Charge Tips

What you need to know

Newcastle & Gateshead is a Class C Zone, meaning buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses & LGVs are all included in the charge.
Newcastle & Gateshead CAZ operating times
The Newcastle and Gateshead Clean Air Zone operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All year round.
When will charging start for the Newcastle Clean Air Zone

Charing for non-compliant taxis, private hire vehicles, buses, coaches and HGVs has started from 30 January 2023.

Non-compliant vans and LGVs will not face charges until July 2023 to allow extra time for vehicle replacements, which are currently affected by a national supply shortage.

How much is the Newcastle Clean Air Zone charge?

The charge you need to pay is dependant on your vehicle type. Taxis, minibuses and vans need to pay a £12.50 fee whereas private HGVs, trucks, lorries, coaches and buses have to pay a £50 fee. Private cars and motorcycles are exempt from this charge.

Charges apply daily, so if you're entering and exiting the zone multiple times on the same day, you will only need to pay once.

But, if you drive in the zone across two days, for example before midnight and after midnight, you'll need to pay two daily charges.

Fines for the Newcastle & Gateshead CAZ

If you forget to pay the fee, you’ll get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) in the post for a £120 fine. This is reduced to £60 if you pay it within 14 days.

Newcastle & Gateshead CAZ charge exemptions

There are two types of exemptions:

  • National exemptions - agreed by the Government and apply to all Clean Air Zones
  • Local exemptions - agreed by the council for the Clean Air Zone in their area.

National exemptions - these exemptions are automatic and you don't need to apply for them.

  • Disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class
  • Certain types of agricultural vehicles
  • Historic vehicles
  • Military vehicles
  • Ultra low emission vehicles
  • Vehicles retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)

Local exemptions - if your vehicle falls under any of these categories, you will need to apply for exemption via the Newcastle City Council website.

  • Emergency vehicles for example: police vehicles, fire engines, ambulances and health service vehicles, mine rescue vehicles, lifeboat vehicles. (Permanent exemption)
  • Agricultural or similar vehicles for example: tractors, mowing machines, steam powered vehicles, snow ploughs, gritters, road rollers, digging machines, mobile cranes, mobile pumping vehicles. (Permanent exemption)
  • Showmen's Guild vehicles for example: rigid lorry, tractor unit, caravan based on a twin axle, living van. (Permanent exemption)
  • Non-commercial vintage buses. (Permanent exemption)
  • Motor caravans for example: Class L vehicles under the Road User Charging and Workplace Parking Levy (Classes of Motor vehicles) (England) Regulations 2001. (Permanent exemption)
  • Bus and HGV training vehicles. (Permanent exemption)
  • Vehicles awaiting retrofit or replacement vehicle for example: HGV, flatbed lorry, tankers, refrigerated trucks. (This exemption will be for one-year from the retrofit or replacement vehicle order, or when work is completed or the new vehicle is supplied)
  • Financed vehicles: This covers taxis and private hire vehicles, registered in Newcastle, Gateshead or North Tyneside, along with commercial vehicles registered to businesses based within the boundaries of the Clean Air Zone. (This exemption will last until the date of the last finance payment or two years from the start date of the Clean Air Zone)
  • Vehicles registered to businesses located within the CAZ. (This exemption will last for two years from the start date of the Clean Air Zone, and is limited to a maximum of two per company)
  • Community transport vehicles. (This exemption will last for one year from the start of the Clean Air Zone.)
  • Wheelchair accessible taxis and private hire vehicles. (This exemption will last for two years from the start of the Clean Air Zone.)
  • Non-compliant resident vehicles. (This exemption will last for two years from the start of the Clean Air Zone. These exemptions are limited to a maximum of two per property.)
  • Emergency Rail Replacement Vehicles. (These exemptions are variable, short-term exemptions which will only be available when the work is unplanned due to an unforeseen emergency.
Is there any support available?

If your vehicle is one of the above types and it does not meet the Clean Air Zone emissions requirements, you can apply for funding to help replace or upgrade it. Applications can be made online via the Newcastle City Council website.

Funding for the grants has been provided by government and the following amounts have been agreed for each vehicle type:

  • Taxis, including Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles – up to £3,500
  • Wheelchair accessible taxis, including Hackney Carriage and private hire vehicles – up to £4,000
  • Light goods vehicles – up to £4,500
  • Heavy goods vehicles – up to £16,000
  • Buses and coaches – up to £16,000

The funding can be used to help purchase a compliant vehicle, either new or second hand, to replace one that does not meet the emissions standards (Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol). This can include minibus replacement where the vehicle is licensed as a taxi or where a community transport permit or operator’s licence is in place.

How much of Newcastle & Gateshead does the zone cover?

The Clean Air Zone includes most of Newcastle city centre, as well as routes over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges.

Newcastle CAZ Map
How do I know if I'm about to drive into the CAZ?

As you drive towards Newcastle city centre, you’ll start to see CAZ signs. The signs will have a symbol with the Letter C, showing the Clean Air Zone class.

Newcastle CAZ charge, sorted in Caura

Caura makes paying for Clean Air Zones simple.

Once you enter your vehicle registration number in-app, you'll be able to see if your vehicle is exempt from the charge or not. If it's not, Caura will tell you exactly how much you need to pay, and from there you can pay in just two taps. Receipts are also stored in-app, and can be exported to your email if you need it.

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