Low Emission Zone Standards - The Camping and Caravanning Club
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Low Emission and Clean Air Zones

There's an increasing number of zones largely within city centres to control vehicle emissions to improve air quality.

Great Britain

Through 2021 there will be a roll out of new clean air zones (CAZs) and an enlargement of London’s ultra low emission zone (ULEZ). From 25 October 2021 the ULEZ is expanding from central London to create a single large zone bounded by the North Circular (A406) and South Circular (A205). However, the North and South Circular roads themselves are not part of the zone.

Bath will be the first CAZ to go live from 15 March. Birmingham’s takes effect from 1 June. Oxford has pilot scheme planned fore a zero emission zone (ZEZ) from the summer of 2021.

They’re located in the respective city centres where persistent air pollution has been recorded. If you drive in the zones with a vehicle that does not meet the minimum requirements - Euro 4 (petrol) or Euro 6 (diesel) for passenger-carrying vehicles and Euro 3 for motorcycles where enforced (currently Birmingham) - there will be a daily charge, the system will be automatic, using cameras with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). On the UK government’s official website you can check your vehicle by entering its registration number. You’ll also find more information here including maps. Visit gov.uk and search for ‘clean air zones’.

Members have several options including:

  • Fitting approved filters to existing vehicles
  • Replacing vehicles with newer models
  • Paying the daily charge
  • Not entering the LEZ
  • Where available using a park and ride scheme

All Club Sites and Camping in the Forest Sites are currently outside Greater London's zone, however a number of Event Sites, Certificated Sites and Listed Sites are within the zone. To check out whether the particular campsite you wish to stay is within the LEZ visit the TFL website. From March 2021 motorhomes over 3,500kg must meet Euro VI to avoid charges in London.

Mainland Europe

Further afield we’ve seen similar schemes being rolled out across much of western Europe. Visitors to France and Germany will be familiar with their respective Crit’Aire and Umwelt-Plakette. These are small window stickers you affix to the inside of the windscreen, on the driver’s side on a right-hand-drive vehicle. It’s worth noting the schemes are completely different. In Germany it was set up to control particulate matter, usually from older diesel engines and the zones are permanently enforced. France will activate a local CAZ if the air quality drops and remains persistently poor.

There is a good online resource where you can check the whole of Europe, urbanaccessregulations.eu has all the information you need, including maps and links to the official sources where necessary.

Where a sticker's required be be aware there are third party businesses providing this service and will add a service charge, it's prudent to check you're using the country's correct agent.

There's a smart device app available called Green Zones which can be helpful while on the move, with live information and maps. There's a basic free version or you can subscribe to a more comprehensive version. You will need to have a WiFi hotspot or be prepared to use your data to get the best from it.

It is worth noting that most zones are are city centres, however a few are whole conurbations yet in most instances the trunk roads passing through are exempted from the zones but this is now an additional check to make when route planning.