Every year the UK Government announces a new set of driving rules and regulations to help make our roads safer and improve the experience for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. It’s important to keep up to date with these, as the highway code we so vigorously studied for our driving tests has likely changed a fair amount!
Electric car subscription service elmo has pulled together an article outlining the new laws you need to know.
1. The Ultra-Low Emission Zone is expanding
ULEZ will be expanding yet again. Currently, it spans across Central London, but it will soon apply to all 33 London Boroughs. This means that if your vehicle does not comply with ULEZ emissions standards, you will have to pay a fee to enter the zone which is currently set at £12.50 per day.
To see if you’re impacted, head to the UK Gov website.
2. Scrappage scheme
To help vulnerable drivers caught out by the new ULEZ expansion, Sadiq Khan has announced a £110million fund which opened from January 2023 to Londoners who receive benefits, are a charity or small business to help fund the switch to a compliant vehicle. Low-income Londoners can claim up to £3000 to replace their old polluting cars however, the fund is on a first-come, first-served basis so it may not benefit everyone who needs it.
3. Speed limits in Wales
From September 2023, drivers in Wales will see most ‘restricted’ roads cut from 30mph, to 20mph speed limits. They will become one of the first countries in the world to legislate 20mph on roads where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists.
‘Restricted roads’ are usually located in residential areas with lots of pedestrians and streetlights placed no more than 200 yards apart.
4. HGV levy
To protect the condition of our roads, all heavy goods vehicles weighing over 12 tonnes will, from July 2023, be charged a levy for wear and tear. This levy was suspended during the COVID pandemic but will be reinstated in the summer.
The levy helps to pay for highway maintenance and repairs around the country to ensure our roads are kept safe and in a drivable condition.
5. Fuel duty rates return to normal
Fuel duty rates are included in the price you pay for petrol, diesel and other fuels. It’s a tax imposed by the Government to help reduce consumption (to reduce road congestion and pollution) and to raise revenue for our public services. Following the pandemic, fuel duty rates were reduced by 5p to help with the increasing cost of fuel at a time where cost of living was at an all time high. However, they are expected to return to normal (or even rise by 12p!) after the Spring 2023 Budget announcement which will take place in March. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements.