Signs and cameras for the Newcastle and Gateshead Clean Air Zone (CAZ) have been installed and are in operation from today.
A network of 43 signs and 38 cameras are located at entry points around the boundary of the zone to alert drivers.
While the cameras are operational from Monday 3 October, drivers will not be charged until January 2023.
It comes after years of delays to the system, which was originally due to be introduced in January 2021.
Newcastle and Gateshead councils said the CAZ will help improve air quality and encourage people and businesses with older, more polluting vehicles to upgrade to cleaner models.
It will cover most of Newcastle city centre as well as routes over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges.
Who will have to pay?
Only older higher polluting taxis, vans, buses, coaches and HGVs will be affected by the CAZ. This means Euro 6 diesel and Euro 4 petrol vehicles.
Private cars, motorbikes and low emission vehicles are not affected.
Lorries, buses and coaches that do not comply with emission standards will have to pay £50 per day, while non-compliant vans and taxis will be charged £12.50 per day.
Drivers and vehicle owners can get help and advice and will be able to apply for financial support towards the cost of vehicle upgrades.
The cameras will begin to monitor vehicles entering the zone from Monday 3 October, with letters sent to owners of non-compliant vehicles offering information on support with upgrading their vehicle.
Charging will be introduced in two phases – with non-compliant taxis, private hire vehicles, buses, coaches and HGVs being charged from 30 January 2023.
Vans and light goods vehicles will not face charges until July 2023 to allow extra time for vehicle replacements, which are currently affected by a national supply shortage.
Councillor Jane Byrne, cabinet member for connected city at Newcastle City Council said: "Although the signage and cameras for the Clean Air Zone are now in place, we want to reassure people that there will be no charges until next year and there is still time to get ready.
"Over the next two months we will be collecting details of vehicles entering the zone and contacting owners of non compliant higher polluting vehicles, which will be affected from January, to make them aware and provide information about how to get support and financial help.
"We know that van drivers are finding it more difficult to replace vehicles at the moment due to national supply issues and therefore we are delaying charges for those vehicles to give those individuals and businesses more time to prepare.”
Cllr John McElroy, cabinet member for the environment and transport at Gateshead Council, said: "Poor air quality is affecting everyone’s health, which is unacceptable and we have to do something about it.
"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.
"Affected drivers will be able to get support, including applying for financial help towards upgrading a vehicle, so we’re encouraging people to check if they are compliant and get in touch to find out about the support available."
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