A new online service has been provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Transport (DfT) to help drivers and businesses to prepare for the introduction of clean air zones (CAZs) in Birmingham and Leeds.

The vehicle checker will allow drivers to find out if they will be affected by the change which will charge the most polluting vehicles to drive in the cities.

Air pollution has improved significantly in recent decades, but the Government argues that there is more to do and is encouraging local authorities to take forward CAZs to reduce the use of polluting vehicles.

Leeds City Council is bringing in a ‘Class B’ zone later this year which will mean some older, polluting buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will be charged to drive within a specified area.

Birmingham City Council is introducing a ‘Class D’ charging zone, which will also come into place later this year, and will apply to some vans and private cars.

Further local authorities including Bath and Sheffield will follow suit in 2020 and 2021 and will be also responsible for introducing charges in their CAZs.

As well as the online vehicle checker, the Government has already provided around £60 million to Leeds and Birmingham to retrofit buses and support businesses and drivers affected by the charge.

The new online checking service can be found at GOV.UK.

Last reviewed 14 February 2020