ULEZ / CAZ Zones
Ultra Low Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones have been put in place in order to help achieve emissions targets set by the UK Government, the target of bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. One of the most ambitious targets set in the world.
Net zero means any emissions would be balanced by schemes to offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as planting trees or using technology, such as carbon capture and storage.
The ULEZ zones are being implemented to prevent people from driving heavily polluting vehicles in the city, non-compliant vehicles are petrol vehicles over 14 years old and diesel vehicles over 4 years old. Research suggests that 60% of vehicles driving through are already compliant.
Places told by UK Government to implement CAZ’s (Clean Air Zones)
Other places looking at implementing CAZ’s include; Bath, Sheffield, Greater Manchester, Oxford, Glasgow, York, Bristol, Cambridge, Newcastle, Gateshead & North Tyneside, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Dundee & Aberdeen.
The following places have until 31st October to submit their plans; Balsover, Bradford, Portsmouth, Broxbourne, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Stoke-On-Trent, Leicester and Liverpool.
The UK Government says it is spending £3.5bn on tackling roadside NO2 concentrations, including £220m for a clean air fund to support individuals and businesses affected by the councils plans to improve air quality.
Defra has set up the joint air quality unit to work with Councils on developing their plans to provide a much more “quick and easy way” of making the payments requested by ULEZ & CAZ areas. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47389830 2019)
All new cars in the UK will be “effectively zero emissions” by 2040, under further plans to tackle pollution. The Government is now under pressure to bring forward this deadline and ban all sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2032. After a report by a parliamentary committee described the plans as “vague and ambitious”.
What are the concerns over CAZ’s and ULEZ’s?
Environmental campaigners, haulage firms and a number of taxi firms have expressed concerns about CAZ’s will work. ClientEarth’s lawyer Katie Nelder stated that “Most of it’s actions have been designed to dump the problem on hard pressed local authorities”
The Freight Transport Association has suggested that there should be increased funding available for haulage firms to convert many of their lorries to meet the emission standards. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47389830 2019)
Can we be optimistic?
As seen in Sweden, there is potential upside for haulage firms, as suggested by Anders Roth,
“Then they realised it wasn’t that bad and the big hauliers who invested in new vehicles realised they could make more money from having a good environmental profile, and they wanted the zone made bigger.” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47816360 2019)
What is their Importance?
The introduction of ULEZ Zones will help to reduce NOx and PM emissions, which in turn improves air quality. These positive effects will be particularly beneficial to the younger, older and those who have respiratory problems, as well as residents of high pollution areas. The majority of traffic entering the ULEZ will be outside the zone, so the benefits of cleaner, greener vehicles in the form of reduced emissions will be experienced across the country.