Routing and mapping technology, Trimble, a leading mapping platform, helps fleets to navigate Clean Air Zones and disruptions this summer.

The push towards cleaner air in urban areas continues across the UK as the government’s 2030 deadline to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles approaches. With the recent expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) and more cities introducing Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and Low Emission Zones (LEZ), the shift towards net-zero vehicles is evident.

While the environmental benefits are clear, these initiatives have increased operational costs and necessitated fleet upgrades for many businesses, ultimately affecting profit margins and requiring updates to route planning equipment. Courier, express, and parcel businesses, with their larger fleets of older petrol and diesel vehicles, are particularly impacted.

These vehicles, often over 10 to 20 years old, cannot be replaced all at once, forcing businesses to phase out older vehicles gradually and incur daily £12.50 low-emission charges. Additionally, the global microchip shortage has delayed the delivery of low-emission vehicles, compounding the challenges.

Further complicating matters, the continuous M25 closures around London are expected to cause traffic disruptions throughout the summer. Although the National Highways has informed motorists that they will not be charged for entering clean air zones if they stay on designated routes, HGVs that deviate from these routes could face fines of up to £100 or penalties of £1,000.

Rishi Mehra, Trimble’s vice president, explains:

“To avoid penalties, professional drivers must be well-prepared and avoid relying on consumer sat nav solutions that may not account for truck-safe routes. As clean air zones expand globally and in UK cities like Birmingham, Bath, Oxford, and Portsmouth, more businesses will be affected by new fines.”

Technological advancements have made it common for drivers to use online maps and navigation tools, but these are often geared towards non-professional drivers. Effective route optimisation for commercial drivers requires more sophisticated tools that consider traffic patterns, road permissions, congestion, clean air zones, low bridges, narrow lanes, and fuel consumption.

Smart mapping solutions provide these capabilities, enabling businesses to navigate low-emission zones and road closures efficiently. These tools help drivers plan precise routes, minimizing detours and reducing time and fuel consumption. This optimization allows transportation businesses to save money and avoid low-emission charges.

Intelligent mapping ensures routes are tailored to vehicle specifications, delivery requirements, and traffic conditions. This enhances driver safety, efficiency, and legal compliance within low-emission zones. For drivers working around London and other compliant cities, this technology is essential to navigate disruptions effectively.

To discover more about Trimble’s Mapping Platform, visit