Low emission zones, otherwise known as Clean Air Zones, were introduced in February 2008 in order to reduce the air pollution from vehicles in large urban areas. It means that cars that produce a lot of emissions are restricted from driving in these areas without paying a fee each day they want to enter them.

There is four classes of Low Emission Zones, the class of the zone will determine which vehicles are affected:

ClassVehicle type
ABuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles
BBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles
CBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses
DBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses, cars, the local authority has the option to include motorcycles

Which Vehicles are exempt from Low Emission Zone Charges?

  • a vehicle that’s ultra low emission.
  • a disabled passenger tax class vehicle.
  • a disabled tax class vehicle.
  • a military vehicle.
  • a historic vehicle.
  • a vehicle retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme ( CVRAS )
  • certain types of agricultural vehicles.

How do I check if I need to pay for Low Emission Zones

The rules do vary from city to city. However the DVLA have made a tool that will let you check your vehicle. It is on there Drive in a clean air zone page.

Which cities have Low Emission Zones?

Not including London, the UK has 11 Clean air zones, 7 in England and 4 in Scotland.

Low Emission Zones in England

Low Emission Zones were first introduced to the UK in 2008 with London. It took a lot of years for other cities to follow suite but the number is now increasing.

CityZone Class
Birmingham D
Bradford C
Portsmouth B
Sheffield C
Tyneside C

London already has strict Low Emission Zones however this will soon be expanding with Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). We will be covering that in another article shortly.

Low Emission zones in Scotland

Scotland already enforced a Low Emission Zone in Glasgow since 2018 which applied to buses only. However in May 2022 this was expanded and three other cities adopted the policy. There is a grace period in effect so enforcement of these new rules will not start until June 2024.

Aberdeen D
Dundee D
Edinburgh D

Low Emission Zone Maps for England


Bath Low Emission Zone Map

Bath’s Low Emission Zone covers the city centre.


Birmingham Low Emission Zone Map

Birmingham’s Low Emission Zone inside the A4540 Middle Ring Road.


Bradford Low Emission Zone Map

Bradford’s Low Emission Zone includes the Outer Ring Road and into the city centre, including Manningham Lane, Canal Road and Shipley/Saltaire.


Bristol Low Emission Zone Map

Bristol’s Low Emission Zone covers the city centre.


London Low Emission Zone Map

London’s Low Emission Zone ll roads within Greater London, those at Heathrow and parts of the M1 and M4 are included. However the M25 is not included in the Low Emission Zone.


Portsmouth Low Emission Zone Map

Portsmouth’s Low Emission Zone covers most of the city centre, and is located in the south east of the city. The international ferry port is not included in the Low Emission Zone.


Sheffield Low Emission Zone Map

Sheffield’s Low Emission Zone covers the city centre inside the A61 ring road.


Tyneside Low Emission Zone Map

Tyneside’s Low Emission Zone covers Newcastle city centre, as well as routes over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges.

Low Emission Zone Maps for Scotland


Aberdeen Low Emission Zone Map

Aberdeen’s Low Emission Zone covers Skene street, School hill, and Virginia street. Other areas affected will be Willowbank Road, Holburn street and Rose street.


Dundee Low Emission Zone Map

Dundee’s Low Emission Zone is within the A991 Inner Ring Road. However the Bell Street, West Marketgait NCP and Wellgate car parks will not be included.


Edinburgh Low Emission Zone Map

Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone covers the city centre.


Glasgow Low Emission Zone Map

Glasgow’s Low Emissions Zone covers the area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket/High Street to the east.

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