A Low Emission Zone is a geographically defined area where the most polluting vehicles in the fleet are restricted or discouraged from using. The aim is to improve air quality by setting an emissions based standard for the vehicles within the area.
There are several low emission zones in the UK, including cities of Brighton, Norwich and Oxford. However, the largest scheme in operation is in London (Transport for London’s Low Emission Zone) and restricts diesel engine vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches, large vans and minibuses while the remaining LEZs currently restrict buses. London is also home to the UK’s first ultra low emission zone (ULEZ).
Further information on LEZ schemes elsewhere in Europe can be found at Low Emission Zones in Europe.
A report on behalf of Defra investigating the feasibility of developing a certification scheme for technology retrofitted to Heavy Duty Vehicles to abate NOx emissions is available to download on the UK-AIR website.