Last updated October 12th, 2023
Yes, Newcastle has a Class C Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
Newcastle’s CAZ was launched in January 2023 with a view to improving the city’s air quality. It was inspired by the success of similar schemes such as the Bradford Clean Air Zone and the Bristol Clean Air Zone – along with London’s Ultra-low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Congestion Charge Zone.
Congestion charges have been around in London since 2003. However, they have only appeared in other UK cities more recently.
In this guide, we will explain where the Newcastle CAZ is situated, who is liable to pay the charge, how to pay – and the penalties for non-payment.
The Newcastle CAZ (also known as the ‘Newcastle and Gateshead Clean Air Zone’) includes the majority of the City Centre - and routes over the Tyne, Swing, High Level and Redheugh bridges.
You can view a map of the Newcastle & Gateshead Clean Air Zone here.
In 2017, Newcastle and Gateshead’s councils were issued with a legal directive by the Government requiring them to address local air pollution levels (as they already exceeded the legal limit).
Newcastle’s CAZ was eventually launched in January 2023.
As Newcastle’s CAZ is a Class C, all commercial and private-hire vehicles that don’t meet the minimum emissions standards will have to pay a daily charge for travelling within the designated area. (Emissions standards for Clean Air Zones are the same as the ULEZ exemption criteria.)
The following daily charges are applied to non-compliant vehicles travelling within the Newcastle CAZ:
(Taxi drivers can obtain a seven-day permit for a fee of £50.)
Visit the Newcastle City Council website for more information.
You can pay the Newcastle CAZ fee:
Whilst private cars and motorcycles are exempt from the CAZ charge, the Newcastle City Council website states: “Although we are not charging private cars entering the Clean Air Zone initially, it is possible that this could change in the future.”
If you are paying online, you should only do so via the gov.uk website. Alternatively, you can make payment via telephone on 0300 029 8888 (Monday to Friday between 8am-7pm and Saturday from 8am-2pm).
Warning: In June 2023, an article published on local news website ChronicleLive warned residents about a text scam which asked recipients to click a link to pay the CAZ charge. The payment link pointed users to a website that is not affiliated with Newcastle City Council.
A council spokesperson said: “If you receive this text message, please do not click the link. We would never send notification of a CAZ charge to anyone by text message.”
If you don’t pay the charge for driving through the Newcastle CAZ, you’ll get a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) in the post.
The fine for not paying the Newcastle CAZ fee is £120. However, this fine will be reduced to £60 if you pay it within 14 days.