Over 50% of adults don’t know what a low emission zone is, research finds

A survey of 2,000 UK adults found that more than half (57%) don’t know what a Clean Air or Ultra-Low Emission Zone is.

The research, commissioned by Hitachi Capital UK, revealed a worrying lack of understanding of what the zones entail, with London’s ULEZ set to come into force on April 8 and other major UK cities, such as Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, unveiling their Clean Air Zone plans in recent weeks.

Support for the zones was also mixed for those who knew what a Clean Air Zone was.

Half of motorists (50%) approve of the zones being introduced, even if they will be charged to enter, and a third of people (33%) think it would be ‘fair’ if companies pass the additional costs on to customers.

Jon Lawes, managing director for Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, said: ‘It’s clear those polled believe something needs to be done – and fast. However, confusion exists amongst drivers as to whether their vehicle meets the required emissions standards to avoid these charges.’

‘Considering the average age of cars and vans on our roads is over eight years, vast numbers of diesel drivers in particular may be unaware they could be driving vehicles that would incur charges under the emission standards requirements.’

A poll last year found 4 in 10 small businesses are unaware that CAZs are due to be implemented.

Air Quality News recently interviewed Cllr James Lewis of Leeds City Council about their CAZ, which is due to come into force from January 2020. We asked him what Leeds will be doing to promote the zone in the city, and you can read the interview here.

The full polling results are below.

How much do you agree with the statement: ‘I am in favour of Clean Air Zones where motorists will be charged to enter the zone’

  • Strongly agree 19%
  • Somewhat agree 31%
  • Neither agree or disagree 28%
  • Somewhat disagree 13%
  • Strongly disagree 9%

How significant a problem do you think vehicle emissions are in the UK?

  • Very significant 28%
  • Somewhat significant 50%
  • Neither significant or insignificant 18%
  • Somewhat insignificant 3%
  • Very insignificant 1%

Did you know diesel cars registered before 1 September 2015 and petrol cars registered before 1 January 2006 will incur daily Clean Air Zone charges?

  • Yes 21%
  • No 79%

How much do you agree with the following statement? ‘I think the general move towards electric vehicles is a good thing’

  • Strongly agree 24%
  • Somewhat agree 38%
  • Neither agree or disagree 27%
  • Somewhat disagree 7%
  • Strongly disagree 4%

How much do you agree with the following statement? ‘As a motorist, I think I am too reliant on my car’

  • Strongly agree 15%
  • Somewhat agree 32%
  • Neither agree or disagree 21%
  • Somewhat disagree 21%
  • Strongly disagree 11%