Newcastle and Gateshead Clean Air Zone now live
Drivers are being urged to make sure they know what to expect when they enter the Clean Air Zone for Newcastle and Gateshead now the zone is live.
Non-compliant taxis, buses, coaches and HGVs now face charges to drive into the zone.
Affected vehicle owners are advised to ensure they understand what it means for them – including how to pay a Clean Air Zone charge.
Drivers of non-compliant vehicles who enter the Clean Air Zone will NOT be sent a notification reminding them to pay.
Councillor John McElroy, cabinet member for the environment and transport at Gateshead Council, said: “There are a number of ways in which people can check both their vehicle and their route to understand whether they will need to pay a CAZ charge.
“We don’t want to see drivers getting caught out and we would encourage them to make these necessary checks.”
Councillor Jane Byrne, cabinet member for a connected, clean city at Newcastle City Council, said it is vital that people understand what it means for them. She said: “Responsibility for paying a CAZ charge rests with you so it’s really important to check whether your vehicle is compliant and whether your route is within the zone.”
People can check whether their vehicle will be charged and, if they do need to pay, they can also make a payment using the national Clean Air Zone website.
Payment can also be made by telephone on 0300 029 8888. The lines are open Monday to Friday between 8am and 7pm and on Saturday from 8am until 2pm.
Once the Clean Air Zone launches on 30 January, payments can be made any time from six days before a journey, on the day of travel or by 11:59pm on the sixth day after driving in the zone. If a charge is not paid drivers may receive a penalty charge notice (PCN).
Affected drivers are encouraged to also be aware of whether their journey takes them within the Clean Air Zone boundary so that they know whether they need to pay.
The zone covers most of Newcastle city centre as well as routes across the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges.
Road signs with the Clean Air logo mark all the entrances to the CAZ and further signs are in place in all directions, to warn drivers on approaching routes.
There is also an interactive map of the Clean Air Zone available online so that people can check before they travel.
The level of charges people will have to pay depends upon the type of vehicle.
Non-compliant buses, coaches and HGVs will be charged £50 per day, while non-compliant taxi and private hire vehicles will be charged £12.50 per day.
Private cars are not affected by the Clean Air Zone and do not have to pay any charges.
Non-compliant vans will have to pay £12.50 per day but not until July. These charges have been delayed due to national vehicle supply chain issues that is making it difficult for owners and small businesses to obtain compliant vehicles.
For full details about the Clean Air Zone visit breathe-cleanair.com.