Potential Clean Air Zone

Closes 1 Mar 2024

Opened 20 Jul 2022


Despite significant effort to improve local air quality, the actions carried out so far have not been enough to address all identified air quality issues within Sefton. 

Because of this, in 2020, with the help of Environmental Consultants AECOM, the Council began the development of a detailed Clean Air Plan Project. An Outline Business Case (a detailed study into air quality) has  been developed for the Clean Air Plan, to see if different ideas to improve air quality, including a Sefton based HGV-focussed Charging Clean Air Zone, will work in Sefton.

The Outline Business Case (OBC) has identified a preferred option for a proposed HGV Charging Clean Air Zone as part of a wider Clean Air Plan for the Borough. The key results of the Outline Business Case work are as follows:

  • HGV traffic is one of the main causes of local air pollution. The Port of Liverpool is expanding, and if we do nothing more congestion and pollution from the increasing number of HGVs heading to and from the Port of Liverpool, and other traffic, will be a big concern.
  • A Charging HGV Clean Air Zone targeting HGVs on busy roads including parts of Derby Road (A565) and Dunningsbridge Road (A5036) would help to reduce NO2 the most. Other ways to tackle traffic-related pollution would not work as well.
  • The Outline Business Case results show that the air quality benefits of the scheme will be felt the most in the areas in Sefton that have some of the lowest household incomes and highest deprivation.  
  • A Charging HGV Clean Air Zone will charge older or non-compliant HGVs a daily fee to pass through the identified Clean Air Zone. The Clean Air Zone encourages HGV operators to upgrade their vehicles to newer/ cleaner vehicles, which will help improve local air quality.  

It is important to note that an HGV Charging Clean Air Zone is not a way for the Council to make money– its aim is to improve air quality, people’s health and the local environment.

Funding may be available for local business who would be most affected, such as owners of older non-compliant HGV fleets. The funding could help them to buy newer vehicles.  Any funding would be part of the Full Business Case preparation.

The next stage of the Clean Air Plan strategy is currently being discussed by Sefton Councils Cabinet. Several possible options are available.

Cabinet will also look at where the funding comes from and how we engage with key stakeholders, partners (such as National Highways and Peel Ports) and other local authorities.

The ongoing Clean Air Plan Strategy, including the proposed Clean Air Zone, will be developed in line with wider relevant Council policies and initiatives and through working with key stakeholders.

A formal consultation process will be undertaken if the Outline Business Case for a HGV Charging Clean Air Zone goes to Full Business Case.

A copy of the report being presented to Cabinet can be found here:Cabinet report

We will use this dedicated Clean Air Plan consultation page to keep you up to date with the next steps and outcomes of the Outline Business Case and whether it progresses to a Full Business Case.

What is a Clean Air Zone?

Clean Air Zone is an area in which a local authority has brought in targeted actions to improve air quality by reducing pollution and encouraging people to drive less polluting vehicles, including electric and low emission vehicles. A Clean Air Zone can be charging or non-charging to vehicles and can be applied to specific types of vehicles only i.e. depending on vehicle type and its specific Euro emissions classification. Within Sefton, the proposed Clean Air Zone applies to HGVs only, affecting non-compliant* vehicles travelling within the defined ‘CAZ boundary corridors’ i.e. part of the A5036/A565).

(*A non-compliant HGV is one that is not compliant with the emission standards required by the Clean Air Zone. The minimum emission standard for HGVs is a Euro VI classification engine. In practice this means vehicles manufactured prior to or during 2014. However, some older vehicles may be retro-fitted with engines that do meet the Euro VI standards).

A Clean Air Zone is designed to improve air quality by encouraging upgrades to cleaner vehicles. It is not the same as a Congestion Charge Zone, where all or most vehicles are charged to drive.

The government published its Clean Air Strategy in 2019 – this sets out the comprehensive actions required across all parts of the government and society to improve air quality – including Clean Air Zones.  A copy of the strategy is available here:  Clean Air Strategy 2019

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