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3 things you need to know about urban access regulations

Published on 1 September 2021 - 3 reading minute(s)

Anyone who has spent time on European roads has likely seen the expansion of Low Emission Zones (LEZ), tolls and other initiatives to reduce air pollution. But where exactly are these LEZs? And what do truckers need to know before entering a city center? If you want to protect the environment ౼ and avoid hefty fines ౼ read on!


Over the past year, citizens around the world have changed the way they “shop”, turning to online vendors and creating an unprecedented boom in home deliveries. Faced with this trend and a general rise in pollution and noise, cities all over Europe are looking into ways to reduce road congestion and boost residents’ quality of life. Many are implementing urban access regulations to curtail vehicle traffic in dense city centers. Here’s what you need to know. But first, do you speak urban access regulations?

Low Emission Zones (LEZ) are delimited areas of a city or metropolitan area from which the vehicles that pollute the most are banned.

A zero-emission zone (ZEZ) is a LEZ where only zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) are allowed.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is a fee charged to the most polluting vehicles in Central London.


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Regulations vary by country and by city: 

If your route takes you through multiple cities or countries, chances are that you will encounter different regulations along the way. Check out the regulations in each city before you go. 

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This is just the beginning: 

With sights set on ambitious carbon emissions targets, EU cities are likely to continue expanding LEZs. Also, these zones will likely evolve from LEZs into ULEZs (the U is for Ultra) and even ZEZs (the Z is for Zero). Most zone changes will be announced a year in advance, so keep an eye out.


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It’s going to cost you: 

Being stuck in traffic costs truckers an average of $63 per hour in lost time and wasted fuel ౼ so reducing congestion is not only good for the environment, it's good for your bottom line. What’s more, ignoring these regulations will cost you as well. Expect to pay 80€ in Milan, Italy and Cologne, Germany; up to 135€ in Paris, France; and as much as 250€ in Amsterdam, Netherlands if you get caught breaking the rules!*



*Indicative amounts based on current regulations applicable in the listed cities - as of 23 june 2021 - Please refer to applicable cities regulations to know the precise amounts to be paid.




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