Clean Air Zone Project

Clean Air Zone 2016-2020

In December 2015 the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published a document entitled “improving Air Quality in the UK” The document identifies Nitrogen Dioxide as the main problem for Air Quality and sets out measures to tackle it. The main source of Nitrogen Dioxide pollution is the transport network and in particular Diesel and petrol vehicles. The measures continued in the documents include:

  • Encouraging change to Low Emission Vehicles
  • Support for alternative modes of travel such as cycling walking public transport
  • Clean Air Zones

 Initial analysis carried out by DEFRA showed that Nottingham, along with several other cities, is unlikely to comply with legal limits for the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide by 2020. As a result Nottingham has been asked by the government to implement a Clean Air Zone.

What is a Clean Air Zone?

A Clean Air Zone is an area of the City in which measures will be introduced with the purpose of reducing pollutants such as Nitrogen Dioxide. Since the majority of Nitrogen Dioxide is produced by vehicular traffic the main measure within a Clean Air Zone will be to charge a fee for the most polluting types of vehicles to enter the zone.

Originally Nottingham was tasked by DEFRA with implementing a Clean Air Zone which would charge only Buses Taxis and HGV’s. However last year the government’s approach was subject to a legal challenge. The court ruled that plan would not reduce Nitrogen Dioxide levels to within legal limits and required the DEFRA to produce a new plan.

The new plan will be publish shortly and we await further information from DEFRA as to how the new plan will affect Nottingham.

When will the Clean Air Zone be introduced?

Nottingham City Council has been mandated by the government to introduce a clean air zone before the end of 2019.

Why Nottingham?

In order to comply with legislation governing Air Quality the government has carried out analysis of the levels of pollution across the major urban areas of the country. This analysis showed that levels of Nitrogen Dioxide in Nottingham are currently exceeding legal limits and action needs to be taken. Nottingham has therefore been told by government to implement a Clean Air Zone. Nottingham is one of a number of cities outside London which have been told to implement a Clean Air Zone.

Will the Clean Air Zone affect me?

The Clean Air Zone is aimed at improving the quality of the air we breathe and in turn this will improve the health of our citizens.

We’re also working hard to understand the wider implications of the new plan for Nottingham, such as the economic impact of the Clean Air Zone. We will be releasing more communications on our approach to Clean Air Zones in the coming weeks.

What is the Extent of the Clean Air Zone in Nottingham?

Currently Nottingham City Council is working with government to carry out further analysis which will help establish the most effective form of the CAZ. This will ensure it meets the needs of our city. Further updates on our progress towards establishing the extent of the CAZ will become available on this website.

Will there be other Measures to improve Air Quality as well as the Clean Air Zone?

Yes, Nottingham is currently working on many innovative and exciting projects that will help improve Nottingham’s air quality such as; developing Nottingham’s first Eco Expressway which will provide priority travel to ULEVs and electric buses to be in place by 2018, Go Ultra Low Nottingham programme to increase the uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles by 2020, a Nottingham Taxi Strategy to introduce more ULEV taxis by 2020, our Cycle Ambition programme to develop better connecting cycle route across and around the City and our ever growing electric buses and tram networks within Nottingham.

Will Private Cars be charged for entering the CAZ?

Currently we do not know which vehicles will be charged for entering the Clean Air Zone. We are currently awaiting the outcomes of the new air quality plan which will be published by DEFRA in the coming weeks. In any event Nottingham City Council will be conducting its own analysis to ensure that the Clean Air Zone meets the needs of Nottingham and its Citizens.

How much will the charge be for non-Compliant vehicles?

We are reliant on the government to publish the details of the charge for Clean Air Zones and this information has yet to be published. Once this information is released we will update the website accordingly.

What are the Clean Air Zone Emissions Standards?

The Table below gives Emissions limits of common types of vehicles:

Vehicle Type

NOx Emissions Limit

Bus/ Coaches




Van (1305Kg – 3500Kg)

Euro 6 Diesel Euro 4 petrol

Car / Light Van (up to 1305kg)

Euro 6 Diesel Euro 4 petrol

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