Newcastle City Council send out warning letters before clean air zone charges comes into effect

The Clean Air Zone charges will in force from 30 January for vehicles that do not meet the Clean Air Zone emissions standards. Credit: Newcastle City Council

Letters alerting thousands of drivers to upcoming Clean Air Zone charges are being sent out this week.

The letters will be sent to vehicle owners whose taxi, bus, coach or HGV does not mee Newcastle and Gateshead's Clean Air Zone (CAZ) emissions standards.

These driver will be required to pay a charge from 30 January 2023.

The vehicles were identified by Newcastle City Council after entering the Clean Air Zone – which covers most of the city centre, as well as routes over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges – during a four-week monitoring period in October.

This includes vans, which are exempt until July 2023, and private cars which are not affected by the zone.

The owners of vehicles identified as liable to pay will be sent letters this week to make them aware that they will be charged in future.

The letters will also encourage people to find out about and apply for financial support towards the cost of upgrading to a cleaner vehicle with lower emissions that would not face CAZ charges.

  • Funding of up to £3,500 is available for taxi upgrades

  • Funding of up to £4,000 is available for wheelchair accessible taxis

  • Funding of up to £16,000 is available for a bus, coach or and HGV.

Non-compliant van owners will be able to get a grant of up to £4,500, although CAZ charges for vans have been delayed until July 2023.

The council is encouraging all drivers to apply for a grant as soon as possible, with temporary exemptions from having to pay CAZ charges available for those who are in the process of applying for funding and upgrading their vehicle.

Applications for other local exemptions, including temporary exemptions for wheelchair accessible taxis and for residents and businesses based within the CAZ, can also be submitted.

The Clean Air Zone is being introduced in response to a government order requiring action from Newcastle and Gateshead councils to improve air quality by tackling high roadside levels of pollution.

Pollution is known to be linked to a number of serious health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer and breathing problems, including childhood asthma.

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