Policy Update

Low Emission Zones

What is a low emission zone?

A Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is a charging scheme with the aim of improving local air quality. Vehicles are defined by their air quality emissions and those that exceed pre-determined air quality emission levels are either required to pay a fee to enter or move in a LEZ or are they may be banned from entering or using a LEZ.

What is the impact for members?

Depending on the Euro standards set, the vast majority of member’s vehicles should be compliant with the LEZ standards providing an excellent opportunity to promote the benefits of renting and leasing vans, minibuses and HGVs.

Are there LEZ's in the UK?

There is currently a low emission zone operating in London. For more information click here.

Outside of London, fifteen local authorities in England have been allocated prime funding from the Government to develop similar LEZ projects, details of which can be found below:

Lead authority Total amount awarded Projects
Aylesbury Vale  £28,000 Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study
Bath & North East Somerset DC  £46,500 Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study
Birmingham (West Midlands Group)  £120,000 Project to define emissions reduction strategies, including LEZ, LES toolkit, green procurement. 
Bradford  £102,000 Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study
Horsham District Council  £15,000 Storrington Traffic Fleet Survey & LEZ Feasibility Assessment 
Leeds City Council  £50,000 Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study
Lewes Council  £120,000 Sussex Low Emission Zone feasibility assessment project (2012-2013)
Maidstone Borough Council  £40,000 Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study
Newcastle Upon Tyne (joint bid with Gateshead MBC)  £60,000 Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study
Reading Borough Council  £40,000 Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study 
Sheffield City Council (joint bid with South Yorkshire Group)  £40,000 Low Emission Zone Feasibility Study
Southampton   £40,000 LEZ feasibility study and monitoring 
Warwick District Council  £20,000 Tender Project: feasibility of introducing LEZs within Warwick District
Waverley  £21,500 Traffic management and Low Emission Feasibility Study
York City Council   £68,500 a) LEZ feasibility study, and b) Fleet Recognition Scheme 

BVRLA lobbying position

As new zones emerge, a harmonised approach to the emission standards which are set will be vital and the BVRLA is working closely with Government to set up a national framework for emission standards. The association's calls for a common framework have received support from the Chair of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley, who said "As a matter of urgency, the government must set up a national framework for low emission zones to establish a recognised standard for emissions and vehicle identification, supported by a national certification scheme of retrofit technologies."

Further information

For information on low emission zones in Europe click here

Related Consultation Responses

Response Title Response Document

London - Ultra-Low Emission Zone

The BVRLA's position on Transport for London's proposal to create an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London.
PDF icon BVRLA Consultation - London ULEZ