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Low emission zones in Great Britain explained

There are Low Emission Zones in ten cities in the UK. The eleventh low emission zone will be added in Portsmouth at the beginning of November 2021. However, most low emission zones do not apply to passenger cars. In fact, in most cities the restrictions only apply to city buses.

In Brighton and Glasgow city buses need at least Euronorm 6. In Norwich and Nottingham, they can still drive with Euronorm 3, in Oxford they need Euro 5. In Birmingham, not only buses but all vehicle types except motorbikes are affected, as is the case in Germany.

The regulations for London are the most extensive. There are even three zones here. One is the Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which applies to Greater London. Motorbikes and cars are again exempt, but this does not apply to off-road vehicles (SUVs). Otherwise, all diesel vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are obliged to comply with Euronorm 6, vehicles under 3.5 tonnes with Euronorm 3. Trucks (N2, N3) must also register in advance.

The London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is even stricter: diesel vehicles must meet Euronorm 6, petrol vehicles Euro 4, motorbikes only Euro 3. Since 25 October 2021, the ULEZ has also been considerably extended and now extends to the Circular Road, which is the A406 in the north and the A205 in the south. This means the zone is now about 15 times larger than before. Registration is also required here, except for motorhomes. The rules remain the same as in the zone in the old scope. For example, motorbikes complying with Euro classes 0, 1 or 2, petrol vehicles with Euro standards lower than 4 and diesel vehicles with Euro standards lower than 6 are only allowed to enter if they pay a fee of £12.50 per day. HGVs over 3.5 tonnes do not pay the ULEZ charge, but the higher LEZ charge of up to £300.

Apart from the access charges, there is also the £15 congestion charge in London, called the Congestion Charge. Only motorbikes or taxis are exempt from this. The Congestion Charge is required for the Central London area, which until recently made up the ULEZ.

Find out all the details of the Low Emission Zones in the UK in the Green Zones App!