Clean Air Zones Legislation

Clean Air Zones Legislation; a threat to our Hobby.


Clean Air Zones by Steve Parker.

Many of our UK members may not be fully aware of the emission laws being introduced over the next couple of years in towns and cities throughout the country. Many should have been in force already, but have been delayed by Covid-19. Currently, they mainly affect diesel engined vehicles but petrol and LPG vehicles may come under the regulations later. There are 60 schemes being considered.

I live 1.5 miles outside of Greater Manchester. In Spring of 2022, as things stand at the moment, it will cost me £60.00 per DAY to drive my RB44 into Rochdale, Greater Manchester to access the motorway to go to shows etc. – a distance of 5 miles.  Greater Manchester is just one of several areas to introduce the emission laws in the next couple of years and is the biggest scheme outside London.

At the moment there is no distinction between a private HGV and a commercial HGV. As it stands at the moment the “charge” as they call, it is the same for a vehicle over 3.5 tons gross and a 44-ton truck being in the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) all day. For a LGV, up to 3.5 tons gross, the charge for these vehicles is £10.00 per day.   (The charges have recently changed).

Other schemes have different charges, Leeds and Birmingham LGV is £10 and HGV is £50.00. Both of these cities have different exemptions.  Each city has been given a directive to enforce the emission laws, but they are all doing their own regulations.

There are 4 different levels of schemes, A B C and D. Most authorities are being instructed to enforce C or D. Category D is virtually everything before Euro 6 Diesels and Euro 3 petrol engines including cars and they have the authority to include motorbikes!  Birmingham is category D; Bristol has proposed two schemes they include both C and D categories depending on location within the city.

In recent weeks Leeds have cancelled their scheme, as the air quality has improved with the Covid crisis, and the Government has withdrawn the funding.

I have emailed CleanAirGM, at this moment they are still in there consulting stage. This ends on the 3rd of December 2020. Several other cities are also in consultancy stage. 

Bristol and Birmingham were due to have their schemes in place by July of this year, have now been put back to next year. On their website they seem to have a bit more clarity, (click onto exemptions, and follow the link and it takes you to a Government website that says exemptions), it says “historic vehicles i.e. over 40 years old are exempt”. There is a section on private vehicles that indicates these too could be exempt provided they cannot carry a commercial load. When I try my vehicle registration number in the vehicle checker I will be charged. At the moment there is no classification between commercial HGV and private HGV. 

Many UK members will be affected by these measures. It seems to me and other Club members in our area of the MVT, that the only way we can get our voice heard is to email or phone the local CleanAir schemes to lobby them into seeing some sense in that there is a marked difference between a low annual mileage private vehicles (I do about 1500 to 2000 miles per year) and a 44 ton truck that is on the road every day used commercially.

In the Framework document the authorities have to use to set up the CAZ, there is no mention of private HGV.

The MVT is mounting a campaign to fight for our hobby and the right to continue to be able to use our Classic Vehicles without the crippling clean air zone charges that are proposed. The MVT has put together a letter for each member to print out, sign and post to their local MP and local council. It explains our objections to these schemes, which will make it impossible for us to carry on enjoying our vehicles, preserving our Armed Forces’ vehicle history and educating the public and young people of this country about what their fathers, grandfathers and other relatives did in war time, to keep us free and able to enjoy our hobby today

Please click on the link to download or print out a copy of the letter for you to send to your MP and Local Councillors MVT Campaign letter.

Please email your local MP and councillors to have our voice heard.

So far, I have emailed 35 MPs about this, on behalf of the MVT, but strict Parliamentary rules state that an MP can only respond to a person that lives within their constituency, so you must include your address when writing to your MP.

My vehicle is registered as a Private HGV, MOT tested as a dual-purpose vehicle and has a class 7 MOT, i.e. not HGV plated, and it is fitted with original rear seats. As a private HGV, I am not allowed to carry a load for hire or reward.  The specialist insurance backs this up.

These schemes are being brought in over three stages, 2021, 2023 and 2027, (although with the Covid situation these dates have been put back).  With other vehicles being included like for example horse boxes, motorhomes, these may not be in the first round, this includes petrol and LPG engined vehicles.

I hope these comments will make readers aware of these new laws and charges and hopefully we can get some exemptions in place to protect our hobby. If not, the hobby will be decimated.

It’s not just our vehicles that will be affected; many truck and bus enthusiasts will have the same problem, motorhomes over 3.5 tons may be exempt for the moment, but will come in the next phases of the scheme.  How many of our members have motorhomes they tow their Jeeps and Land Rovers etc to shows? The vehicle will be exempt but the motorhome would be charged.

In the time we have been researching the emission legislation, I have been appointed by the MVT to look into this. We have been in touch with the FBHVC and suggested they look at Private HGVs. It would appear they are not going down this route, they are looking to get historic vehicle status reduced from 40 years old to 30 years old. If they are able to get this through it would be great for a great deal of members, but no use to members with younger vehicles. 

This is the first stage of the emission regulations. It’s no doubt the thin edge of the wedge; historic vehicles are exempt for the moment, but I feel the Friends of the Earth movement and the Green movement see us as the enemy and they have a big voice.

We need to raise awareness of this problem as it will have a major impact on our hobby. We need to shout loud, and lobby local MPs and councillors.


We have had some positive response from Greater Manchester CAZ. They have recognised private HGV vehicles, and are including in their proposal, to charge private HGV owners will be charged the LGV rate of £10 per day, provided they reside within the Greater Manchester zone, have lived there for over 12 months and that they register with TfGM.

Whilst this is a positive move in the right direction, I have been perusing the private HGV exemption, and on the grounds of discrimination and are going for a national recognition of private HGV.  How can one section of residents be charged the lower rate and people that live just outside the area be charged the full HGV rate?

We have been in touch with other organisations i.e. the Caravan and Motorhome Club, (CAMC) and they have been on this for 5 years, and also the equestrian groups etc. There are many more groups that are going to be affected by this. We think the best way to tackle this is to go for Private HGV exemption.

Please see the link for the letter that we have prepared. If you can download this and send it to your local CAZ scheme and your local MPs, that would be great; now is the time to act, once these schemes have been made into law, they will be very difficult to get altered.

Many thanks

Steve Parker

My email address is  if you need to contact me.


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