As the new decade begins, its important to note the new driving laws and regulations being enforced from the 1st January 2020.
#1 Low Emission Rules
Back in April 2019, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was introduced in London, replacing the previous T-charge scheme. The policy was introduced in a bid to improve air quality, with most vehicles, including cars and vans, required to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or pay a daily charge to drive within the zone. This ranges from £12.50 for most vehicle types, such as cars and vans, to £100 for more heavier vehicles, such as lorries. Those who drive older diesel cars will be affected the most.
The ULEZ is currently enforced across Central London, but will be extended to all of inner London by 2021. However, this policy will soon be adopted in certain cities across the UK throughout the year. Leeds is expected to introduce its own scheme in early 2020, with Birmingham to follow suit in July. Other cities are also interested, including Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Newcastle, Derby and Edinburgh.
#2 Car Tax
Those who own high emission cars will be charged an extra £15 to their vehicle excise duty bill as of 2020. Diesel car owners who fail to meet the mandatory RDE2 emissions standard (emitting no more than 0.080g/km of nitrogen oxide) will face higher tax rates, while new car buyers could face an additional £65 on their first year’s car tax. Click here to find out more.
#3 Smart Motorways
UK motorists should be familiar with how to use a smart motorway. It is illegal to drive on a closed lane (as noted by a red X sign) and failure to do so will result in a fine of up to £100, plus three license points. However, legislation is being introduced in 2020 to enforce stronger penalties.
Highways England are also planning to build more emergency refuge areas on smart motorways. This comes after the RAC rallied for more refuge areas to help those who may breakdown or crash away from an area of safety. To find out more about Smart Motorways, click here to read our informative blog.
Since 1974, a pavement parking ban has been in enforced in London. However, 2020 could soon see this ban extended across England, with drivers facing a £70 fine should they be caught.
Elsewhere, the RAC have lead the charge to impose a new code of practice to protect drivers from unethical parking companies. They want to ban certain practices and create a single, independent appeals process throughout England. This comes after almost 10,000 people approached the Citizens Advice Bureau for guidance on parking tickets in 2019. While the new legislation has been passed, the new code of practice has yet to be concluded.