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New Clean Air Zones coming this year

New Clean Air Zones coming this year

(Posted on 20/05/21)

As the government pushes ahead with a drive for cleaner air and lower emissions, the number of cities operating enforced Clean Air Zones will increase this year.

Birmingham is next with restrictions due on 1st June, followed by increased restrictions in London, Bristol, Bradford, Portsmouth, and Newcastle at the end of the year. Greater Manchester will follow suit early next year.


The new Clean Air Zones will roll out across the country this year with most cities adopting new zones by the end of 2021.

Bath                                                     15th March 2021

Birmingham                                          1st June 2021

London                                                 25th October 2021

Bristol                                                  October 2021 (TBC)

Bradford                                               late 2021 (TBC)

Portsmouth                                          late 2021 (TBC)

Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside 2021    

Greater Manchester                              spring 2022

(Source: BVRLA)



As Sadiq Khan was re-elected as London Mayor last month, he recommitted to expanding the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London this October.

The expanded ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone and will affect older, more polluting vehicles that do not comply with emission standards.

Although around 80% of cars are already thought to be compliant, it is estimated that 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries could be affected by the expanded zone and tighter standards every day. 

The new ULEZ will expand up to the north and south circular roads. It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year except Christmas Day.

Sadiq Khan said: “In central London, the Ultra Low Emission Zone has already helped cut toxic roadside nitrogen dioxide pollution by nearly half and led to reductions that are five times greater than the national average.

“But pollution isn’t just a central London problem, which is why expanding the ULEZ later this year will benefit Londoners across the whole of the city and is a crucial step in London’s green recovery. There is no time to waste. We know pollution hits the poorest Londoners the hardest which is why I’m doing everything I can to improve the health for all Londoners.”



Lease fleets have been driving the uptake in low emission vehicles according to the BVRLA’s latest quarterly leasing survey, which was published last month.

The survey showed that during quarter four, 2020, average CO2 emissions were 98g/km compared to the average UK car fleet of 114.2g/km.

Nearly one-fifth of leasing members’ fleets now have some form of electric vehicle with 5% of the car fleets being pure EV and 15% hybrid.

BVRLA’s chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “The vehicle leasing sector remains at the forefront of road transport decarbonisation and members continue to innovate to provide more individuals and businesses with access to affordable low- and zero-emission vehicles.

“The sector’s green credentials will make leasing an attractive option for those living or working in towns and cities looking to introduce Clean Air Zones during 2021 and beyond.” 



In February government ministers met with the British Vehicle Rental Leasing Association (BVRLA) and some of its members to hear the industry’s concerns about the lack of a centralised payment portal for Clean Air Zones.

The ministers cited time and budget constraints as the reason for not having an autopay function available.

Several fleet operators expressed their concerns and recommended the following suggestions: 

Businesses with more than one vehicle are encouraged to register for payment using the government’s central payment portal in advance of the Clean Air Zones going live. Payments can be made seven days in advance or six days in arrears.  You can access the portal here:



We provide the most efficient vehicles possible with a full range of vehicle options and fleet management services.

For further information on low emission vehicles or to view the latest offers on electric and hybrid lease vehicles contact: 



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