Ulez and Clean Air Zone schemes force drivers to pay £418million in charges and fines

A Clean Air Zone sign

There are 13 emissions-based charging zones across the UK

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 23/08/2023

- 14:59

Updated: 23/08/2023

- 15:45

Money raised from London’s Ulez scheme has already surpassed £319million just a week before another expansion takes place

Drivers have been slapped with more than £418million in fees and penalty charges from emissions zones between March 2021 and April 2023, new data has shown.

Through a Freedom of Information request, the total figure was found to include charges from London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, a number of Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones, as well as Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone.

The London Ulez issued the majority of fees and fines, accounting for almost £320million, with the data being collected before the October 2021 expansion to the North and South Circular roads.

In total, the UK has 13 Low Emission Zones, Clean Air Zones or Zero Emission Zones, including the Ulez, which will soon expand to cover Greater London.

A Ulez sign

Drivers in London have been charged almost £320million


Of the 13 zones, nine of the schemes charge non-compliant vehicles to drive inside the area in a bid to slash emissions.

The research, commissioned by Peugeot, found that a total of £418,501,974 had been raised through fines and daily charges for motorists.

Following the Ulez, Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone raised the highest amount of money from motorists with £79.5million collected between mid-June 2021 and April 2023.

The Clean Air Zone to launch most recently, in Sheffield, has already collected £495,966 in just over two months of operation.

The most unique of the charging zones in the UK is Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone, which sees all non-zero emission vehicles pay to drive in the city centre.

The ZEZ, which has been in operation since February 28, has raised £779,306 by charging vehicles, with fines and penalties set to double in 2025.

According to the 2000 Transport Act, local authorities in England are required to re-invest revenue from Clean Air Zones, with most money going to fund transport projects.

So far, Birmingham City Council has invested over £52million of revenues to fund a hydrogen bus trial, upgrade train stations and improve cycling infrastructure.

Adam Wood, managing director at Peugeot UK, said: “Local authorities are turning their focus to improving urban air quality with 13 Clean Air Zones now in place across the UK.

“To help drivers avoid charges and reduce emissions in our urban centres, Peugeot has introduced a new e-Grant, offering customers a £3,000 saving on the new, all-electric e-208 and E-2008.”

With the Ulez scrappage scheme being extended, motorists who own non-compliant vehicles in London can benefit from the £3,000 Peugeot e-Grant in addition to the £2,000 TfL grant, allowing them to potentially save £5,000.

Peugeot has assured its customers that the entire line-up of vehicles meets the latest Euro 6 standards for petrol and diesel vehicles, ensuring it is compliant with almost all emissions zones.


A Zero Emission Zone sign

Oxford's Zero Emission Zone launched in February 2022


In a further boost to its net zero credentials, the French automotive manufacturer has pledged to ensure all of its vehicles are electric by the end of the decade.

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