Online clean air zone checker launched to help drivers prepare for extra charges

An online service has been launched to allow drivers to check if their vehicles are affected by extra charges when driving in clean air zones.

Initially covering zones in Birmingham and Leeds, the government website allows users to enter their vehicle registration before selecting their desired air zone. They will then be told if the vehicle is exempt from a charge, or if they will have to pay – and how – to drive in the zone.

Later in 2020, Birmingham and Leeds' clean air zones will launch. The latter is a 'Class B' zone, which will see older buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles and HGVs charged for entering while the former's 'Class D' status will also apply to some older vans and cars.

It's also hinted that upcoming zones in Bath and Sheffield will be covered under the online checker at a later date, though London's ULEZ has its own separate service.

As well as providing the new service, the government has said it has provided around £60 million to Leeds and Birmingham to retrofit buses and support both business and drivers affected by the upcoming zones.