Newcastle Clean Air Zone Explained

January 18, 2023
Tyne Quayside, Newcastle

Launching on 30 January 2023, the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) will cover most of the city centre.

Private cars will be exempt but older taxis will be charged £12.50 per day and non-compliant lorries, buses and coaches will have to pay £50 each day.

Under the CAZ, only some older, more polluting commercial vehicles will be subject to daily fees to drive into Newcastle city centre.

It is important to know that coaches which are non-compliant, will be required to pay a new £50-a-day tolls. Non-compliant smaller mini coaches and taxis will be charged £12.50 per day.

Here is how to check whether your vehicles need to pay the toll:

Petrol vans and taxis that meet ‘Euro 4’ standards are exempt, as are ‘Euro 6’ diesels, so it is important to check what class your vehicle is in. All HGVs, buses and coaches must be of ‘Euro 6’ standard to avoid the toll.

Newcastle and Gateshead councils say that, as a general rule, the following vehicles should meet the minimum standard, therefore be exempt from tolls:

  • Taxis – Diesels registered after September 2015, petrol cars registered after 2005;
  • Vans – Diesels registered after September 2016, petrol after January 2006;
  • HGVs, buses and coaches registered after 2014.

The first set of tolls will begin on January 30, 2023 and will apply only to taxis, private hire vehicles, buses, coaches and HGVs. Vans and light goods vehicles will not face charges until July 2023, with extra time having been afforded due to a national shortage of vans making it harder for people to upgrade to newer, cleaner models.

The toll zone is in Newcastle city centre only, including the routes in over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges. Earlier versions of the plans included a much larger CAZ that would have also included parts of Gateshead, a stretch of the Coast Road, and up to Gosforth, but the scheme was scaled back. Councils also ditched the idea of halving the number of lanes on the Tyne Bridge in order to deter car journeys.

Once the charges begin on January 30, 2023, affected drivers will be able to pay online via the Government website. You will also be able to pay using an online contact form or by calling a hotline on 0300 029 888, open from Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm and Saturday 8am to 2pm. Taxi owners licenced by Newcastle, Gateshead, or North Tyneside councils can also apply for a seven-day permit at a cost of £50, instead of the standard charge of £12.50 per day.

Once the charges launch, drivers will be able to pay up to six days before their journey or six days after. Payments cannot be made before January 30, 2023.

Exemptions include:

  • Disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class;
  • Certain types of agricultural vehicles;
  • Historic vehicles;
  • Military vehicles;
  • Ultra low emission vehicles;
  • Vehicles retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS);
  • Specialist agricultural and similar vehicles such as tractors, gritters, snow ploughs, mowing machines digging machines, road-rollers, mobile cranes, mobile pumping vehicles and steam-powered vehicles.
  • Emergency services;
  • Showmen’s vehicles registered to the business of travelling showmen that have been specifically modified or constructed to be used to provide the performance and are permanently fitted with a special type of body or superstructure forming part of the equipment of the show, and are used solely by that person for the purposes of their business;
  • Non-commercial vintage buses aged between 20 and 39 years;
  • Vehicles awaiting replacement or retrofitting, where evidence is supplied that a compliant vehicle has been ordered or proof that the vehicle has been accepted for retrofitting by an approved supplier and is awaiting work to take place;
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles subject to an ongoing finance agreement;
  • Wheelchair accessible taxis/private hire vehicles;
  • Motor Caravans;
  • Community Transport Vehicles;
  • Vehicles registered to businesses located within the CAZ;
  • Emergency rail replacement buses and coaches;
  • Bus and HGV driver training vehicles;
  • Breakdown recovery vehicles;
  • Hybrid vehicles;
  • Taxis and vans belonging to people living within the CAZ.

You can check if your vehicle is compliant or not by entering your registration number at