Are your drivers up to date on the latest changes to UK roads?

This blog does not provide legal advice or guidance, the examples in this post are a sample of the types of changes we have recently seen only and should not be taken as an exhaustive list.

From smart motorway changes to low emissions zones, new rules and technologies are frequently introduced to keep our roads safer and drive emissions down. To ensure safe and compliant driving, it is worth regularly checking for changes and planning ahead when undergoing long journeys. For example, when driving in unknown areas, check for changes or local nuances along the route. Below are some recently introduced, localised changes where being in the know could minimise risk and, in some cases, avoid hefty fines and penalties.

London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

On the 29th of August 2023 London expanded their Ultra Low Emission Zone across all London boroughs. The advanced changes have been brought about by increasing health problems that people in London are experiencing due to air pollution.

Cars driven within the ULEZ zone that do not meet the emission standards could face a daily charge of £12.50. Drivers should pay using the TFL website, or alternatively can set up Auto pay which will then be automatically paid.

This is a positive step further to helping London’s air pollution with all money received from the ULEZ being reinvested back into the scheme, making a further push for clean air.

Changes to the Dart Charge

After a change in the ownership of vehicle identification and payment processing, drivers are being reminded to revalidate their payment cards to use the Dart Charge crossing.

Drivers making journeys across the Dartford crossing over the River Thames are required to revalidate their payment card or risk receiving a penalty charge notice (PCN).

If you do not revalidate your charge card, you will no longer be automatically charged and so are at risk of receiving a penalty so watch out.

Drivers should be aware that others have been experiencing long waiting times to revalidate their payment cards, it is recommended to do this ahead of the journey.

Glasgow Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

On the 1st June 2023, Glasgow’s Low emission zone came into effect, all vehicles entering the city centre zone must meet the less-polluting emission standards or face a penalty charge. This is one of the strictest zones we have seen so far, as it’s no slap on the wrist for entering, if your vehicle doesn’t meet the standards, the vehicle is prohibited.

For drivers entering Glasgow’s LEZ, the below vehicles are accepted:

  • Euro 4 emissions for petrol cars and vans
  • Euro 6 emissions for diesel cars and vans

Drivers should be aware of the penalty charge notice starting at £60, which will double for each subsequent breach. The fine will be capped at £480 for cars and LGVs but, getting caught again in the same LEZ zone means future charges would be applied at the full capped rate!

Other cities in Scotland will be following in Glasgow’s footsteps, enforcing their own schemes in 2024 and moving towards a low emission zone. 

AI Camera in Cornwall

The local police force in Cornwall is trialling an artificial intelligence (AI) camera system to try reduce the number of driving offences. The new system caught almost 300 drivers breaking the law during the first three days of its use in the UK.

The free-standing AI road safety camera is currently in use on the A30 near Launceston, Cornwall. If successful, it will lead the way for a new way of keeping our roads safe.

With so many changes being highlighted in the news, it serves as a great reminder to everyone to stay alert and up to date about road safety and compliance. The examples above demonstrate a small number of changes recently made to UK roads and we would suggest drivers’ research and keep up to date with changes regularly.