Clean Air Zone (CAZ)

What is a Clean Air Zone?
A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is a defined area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality, as a consequence of pollution from motor vehicles. Although a CAZ aims to reduce all kind of air pollution, it is specifically focused on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) so that people breathe in less of all this pollutant. Charging CAZs are classed from A to D, with each class impacting different types of vehicles
Why Liverpool?
Liverpool City Council (LCC) was directed by the Government in October 2018 to produce a Local Air Quality Plan
What happens if Liverpool does not comply?

If we do not comply with the clean air requirements there will be an unacceptable risk to people’s health and the city could also face a substantial fine.

What area will the CAZ cover?

The exact boundary of the charging CAZ is still to be determined. However, it will incorporate areas with the highest levels of NO2, this is likely to include the city centre.

How will this area be chosen?

The area covered by the charging CAZ will be determined following extensive modelling – looking at the predicted impacts different measures will have on traffic and pollution levels. Responses from public consultations will also be considered.

When will the CAZ begin?

LCC is required to meet legal air quality limits in the shortest possible time. If it is deemed a requirement, the Clean Air Zone would be implemented in 2023 to deliver the health benefits as quickly as possible.

How will the CAZ be governed?

LCC will oversee the delivery of the CAZ and enforce any charges and fines

Aerial view of Liverpool

CAZ Impacts

What is nitrogen dioxide and what does it do?

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a gas produced by burning fossil fuels with one of the biggest sources of NO2 being diesel used as a fuel in vehicle engines. Research has found that NO2 particularly affects children and people with existing respiratory problems, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In long periods of exposure, it can cause breathing problems and lung damage.

The Government told us to buy diesel cars to reduce CO2, and now we are being told that diesel cars are worse for air quality?

In the past the Government encouraged the public to purchase diesel vehicles in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions, which was the focus on air quality at that time. However, progression in scientific research and technological advancements has shown that diesel powered vehicles contribute significant amounts of NO2 which can be harmful to public health.

How will a CAZ improve air quality?

A charging CAZ imposes restrictions to encourage only the cleanest vehicles to operate in areas with significant levels of NO2. It aims to encourage and support behavioural change towards the use of cleaner vehicles and cleaner, alternative transport modes.

What can I do now to protect myself and people I care about?

Re-mode: One simple and cost-effective change we can do to improve air quality is changing the way we travel. This could be in the form of car sharing, choosing to use public transport, or travel by non-motorised means such as cycling or walking. Even if we choose to travel differently just once a week, we could reduce the amount of air pollution our cars produce by up to 20%.

Re-time: Avoiding morning and evening rush hours can reduce congestion, thus minimising pollution from idling vehicles stuck in traffic jams.

Re-route: If possible, choose quieter routes that are less susceptible to congestion. When walking or cycling, try and keep away from busy roads by using parks, public footpaths or canals. The closer you are to busy traffic, the more you are at risk of air pollution.

Reduce: Avoiding unnecessary trips and driving economically by only accelerating gently. Sticking to speed limits and switching your engine off when stationary uses less fuel, saves money, reduces the risk of having an accident and ultimately reduces air pollution.
School Run: Where possible, cycle or walk with your children to school and support schools to develop active travel programs. If you have to drive, consider park and stride for the last part of your journey and avoid idling by turning the engine off when you are waiting near the school gates.

Won’t this impact on people who rely on vehicles for their livelihood, such as taxi drivers and business owners?

Yes, therefore we want to work closely with as many different groups across the city as possible, including businesses, haulage companies, members of the taxi trade and bus operators, to understand how a CAZ will affect them and how we might be able to support them, to ensure that we deliver the best possible strategy for cleaning up our city’s air.

What about people who currently live within the CAZ area?

We are working on a strategy to ensure that those who live and work within the CAZ boundary receive the appropriate support so that they are not disproportionately impacted by the CAZ. They will soon start to reap the benefits of cleaner air outside their front door!

Aerial view of Liverpool

CAZ Charges

What vehicles will be affected?

It will depend on the final charging CAZ class chosen for Liverpool. A CAZ C will charge non-compliant buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans and minibuses. A CAZ D will charge all non-compliant vehicles as per a CAZ C, with the additional inclusion of non-compliant cars.

Will motorcycles be exempt?

According to the CAZ standards (set nationally) motorcycles need to be Euro 3 or higher to avoid paying a charge in a CAZ D scenario. Whether motorcycles will be included in Liverpool’s CAZ D is still yet to be determined.

How much will the charge be?

Charge levels are still to be defined. Charges will vary depending on your vehicle type.

Do you have to pay every time you enter the zone?

No. Charges to enter the CAZ are paid per day. If you drive in and out of the zone more than once between 00:00 and 23:59 in the same day, you will only be required pay the charge once.

How can you check if your vehicle will be charged?

You can enter your registration number to check whether your vehicle will be charged on the national online vehicle checker:

How do you know if you have been charged?

Advanced warning signage on roads approaching the CAZ will be positioned to inform you that you are about to enter the zone. You will be liable to pay a charge if you drive into the zone in a non-compliant vehicle. You will not automatically be notified of having driven into the zone so you should check the government’s Payment Portal to see if you are to pay a charge. You will have approximately 1 week to pay the charge after entering the zone, after this time you will be subject to a fine. The level of fines are still yet to be determined

How do you pay a charge?

The UK Government has developed a Payment Portal to pay the charge. Further details on this will be released when details on Liverpool’s charging CAZ are finalised.

Isn’t this just a congestion charge?

No. A charging Clean Air Zone restricts the most-polluting vehicles rather than simply targeting all vehicles. Its aim is to encourage the use of cleaner, greener vehicles and greater use of public transport and active travel.

How will the CAZ revenue be spent?

Any revenues brought in by the CAZ will be reinvested into management, maintenance, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the programme. Any additional revenues will be used to further improve air quality in Liverpool.

An image of the Clean Air Zone symbol of a cloud in a circle

Public Transport, Funding and Support

What about improving public transport services before introducing a CAZ?

Investment in public transport is ongoing, and we have an ambitious programme of improvements planned, including new cycle routes. The CAZ will be introduced in tandem with these improvements.

What support will be available for disabled and older people?

We are currently investigating various support packages for vulnerable members of the public. The scale and method of this support will be finalised before the charging CAZ is introduced.

Is there any help available for business?

The council is investigating possible funding for a range of grants and exemption schemes to ensure financial support to affected local businesses.

Where can I find out more?

Further updates on the Clean Air Plan and will be published on “Let’s Clear the Air Liverpool” website and our social media channels,

Do you have to pay every time you enter the zone?

No. Charges to enter the CAZ are paid per day. If you drive in and out of the zone more than once between 00:00 and 23:59 in the same day, you will only be required pay the charge once.

An Arriva electric bus