Last reviewed 26 May 2022

Councils in Newcastle and Gateshead have been planning to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), in response to a Government legal order, which would have meant non-compliant buses, coaches and HGVs paying £50 per day.

They would have to be Euro VI vehicles registered after 2014 to be compliant. The CAZ was expected to come into force in July 2022 but proposals submitted by Newcastle and Gateshead councils in October 2021 were not approved until April 2022 so they have now announced that implementation will be postponed.

Local business leaders have welcomed the decision which, the councils have confirmed, is in response to concerns over drivers and firms needing more time to access financial support.

Leader of Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon, said: “It took significantly longer than we expected to receive final government approval for our plans, along with confirmation of how much funding they would provide for vehicle upgrade grants. It’s important that we ensure that affected drivers and businesses are given a fair opportunity to prepare and, where possible, take steps that will avoid them having to pay CAZ charges”.

The two councils have, he explained, initiated discussions with government officials to agree a revised timeline for the launch of the CAZ which will cover most of Newcastle city centre along with routes over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges.

Final arrangements for the application process and distribution of vehicle upgrade grants are being completed and it has been confirmed that up to £4500 will be available for vans and light goods vehicles, up to £16,000 for buses and coaches and up to £20,000 for HGVs.

Businesses who feel they may be affected by the Clean Air Zone are encouraged to register for more information, including details of how to apply for financial support — here.