Clean Air Zone Consultation and Results

The foundations of Sheffield’s future are being built today. We want the future to be cleaner and healthier for all who live in our city. As part of our One Year Plan, we are committed to setting a higher standard for the people who live here and share Sheffield’s air. This means we need to reduce air pollution as fast as possible.

Air pollution contributes to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield. The harm done includes lung cancer and cardiovascular disease and stroke. The biggest cause of pollution is transport, especially diesel vehicles. 

What we plan to do

We need to bring NO2 emissions within legal limits in the shortest possible time. We have considered a range of options to reduce pollution and, in line with our legal direction from the central government, we plan to introduce a Class C Clean Air Zone.

Buses, taxis, vans and lorries that do not meet our emissions standards will have to pay to drive in the zone. Charges will start in early 2023.

The last round of consultation was run on our final CAZ plans over November and December last year. We have now completed our analysis of the results and considered any changes to our plans. A final Full Business Case submission to central government has been prepared for their approval.

What the charges are and who will pay

In a Class C Clean Air Zone charges apply to vehicles that do not meet these minimum standards:

  • hackney carriages and private hire vehicles which are Euro 6 Diesel or Euro 4 Petrol
  • light goods vehicles (LGVS)  such as vans, campervans and pickup trucks and minibuses which are Euro 6 Diesel or Euro 4 Petrol
  • buses and coaches which are Euro 6 Diesel
  • heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) which are Euro 6 Diesel

Vehicles that do not meet these standards would be charged:

  • £10 per day for LGVs and taxis
  • £50 per day for coaches, buses and HGVs
We are not charging private cars

We're not planning to charge private cars entering the city centre. Private cars make up 80% of road traffic but only 50% of the pollution.

Buses, vans, HGVs and taxis are responsible for half of our air pollution but only make up 20% of traffic. By focussing on them we can reduce air pollution as quickly as possible.

Find out your Euro Standard

The year your vehicle was registered is the easiest way to find out what Euro Standard your vehicle is:

  • Euro 6 diesel cars licensed as private hire vehicles, taxis and vans (<1,305 kg): September 2015
  • Euro 6 diesel vans (1,305 – 3,500 kg): September 2016
  • Euro 4 petrol cars, taxis and vans (<1,305 kg): January 2006
  • Euro 4 petrol vans (1,305 – 3,500 kg): January 2007
  • Euro VI diesel HGVs, buses and coaches: January 2014 – however many coach manufacturers had exemptions so would have started Euro VI later

If your vehicle was first registered after the relevant date it is likely you will not receive a charge for driving in the Clean Air Zone.

Check whether you will need to pay to drive your vehicle in in a Category C Clean Air Zone by checking your vehicle registration number as if planning to enter the Bath's Clean Air Zone. 

How to pay and penalties for not paying

You will need to pay to enter the Clean Air Zone online 6 days before or 6 days after entering the Zone. You will not receive a letter requesting payment after entering the zone so, if you have not paid before you enter the zone, you need to make sure you pay afterwards.

If you don't pay you will be fined £120 and you will still need to pay the charge for entering the zone. The fine will be reduced to £60 if it is paid within two weeks of being issued. The cost of the fine is set to deter non-payment to make sure the Clean Air Zone is effective.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will detect non-compliant vehicles entering the zone. This system is used for all Clean Air Zones across the country.

Where the zone will be

The Clean Air Zone will cover the inner ring road and all roads in the city centre, including Park Square and the A61/Parkway junction. You can view the zone on our map.

Why a Clean Air Zone is needed

Central Governments set out the requirement to introduce CAZs within their CAZ Framework.  Modelling shows that a CAZ is required in Sheffield to reach compliance quickly. The charge will encourage those who regularly drive into the zone to upgrade to a cleaner vehicle as they will have the biggest incentive to reduce their pollution. The impact of the zone will be much broader than the city centre. Cleaner vehicles mean reduced emissions across the city, not just in the Clean Air Zone.

We are not aiming to make money from the zone. Funds from the charge will go towards the upkeep of the zone and reducing air pollution in the city. The annual cost of air pollution to the UK is £20 billion and 40,000 lives. Reducing the damage from air pollution saves money by saving lives.

Grants and loans to upgrade or replace vehicles

We are providing financial support to encourage vehicle owners to upgrade their vehicle to meet Clean Air Zone standards.

The government has given us £20 million to help people who will have to pay the charge upgrade their vehicle. Find out if you will be able to apply for a grant or loan.

How we decided on this plan

We considered different ways to improve air quality in the shortest possible time. This includes non-charging options.

We used a comprehensive computer model to understand how these options are likely to affect traffic and air quality. The model uses real-world data from current traffic in the region. It also includes predictions about vehicles getting cleaner over time and the increase in the numbers of vehicles on the road.

The modelling we have used shows that a Class C charging zone will bring air pollution down in the shortest possible time. The evidence for this is available in the Outline Business Case published in 2018. Further modelling done after the review continues to show that a Class C zone reduces pollution in the shortest possible time. Following the consultation, the standard for taxis has been reduced to Euro 6 diesel or Euro 4 petrol. This brings the standard in line with the other vehicle classes.

The Full Business Case will include the information relating to the current modelling and analysis. These technical modelling notes will be published on our website soon.

How we will manage vehicles driving around the zone to avoid the charge

Our research suggests some vehicles will drive around the city centre and inner ring road to avoid charges, but we don't expect this to have a significant effect on air quality.

All cars (apart from those licensed as taxis or for private hire) will not need to pay. Vehicles such as buses, lorries and coaches usually need to enter the city centre to pick up and drop off, while routes that avoid the inner ring road are often not practical.

Residents in Kelham Island and the Walker Street area

Kelham Island sits immediately outside the Clean Air Zone boundary but driving in and out of the area will mean entering the zone. This is also the case for premises on Walker Street and the area bounded by Walker Street and the A61.

This has changed from the previous consultation due to the introduction of a low-traffic neighbourhood and restricted traffic on Ball Street and Alma Street.

Cars and motorbikes are not subject to charges so most residents' personal vehicles won't be affected. Businesses operating vans, coaches, buses or lorries will be subject to charges if their vehicles are below the minimum standard to enter the zone. This will also apply to vehicles of this type making deliveries and taxis making drop offs and pick ups. 

Supporting evidence and research

Is this page helpful?

A-Z of Services a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 123