Businesses have received £3.7m to help switch to cleaner vehicles ahead of Clean Air Charging Zone

Leeds City Council has awarded more than £3.7 million in financial support to help local businesses switch to less polluting vehicles ahead of the Clean Air Charging Zone (CAZ).

The zone will tackle air pollution and protect the health of everyone in Leeds by encouraging businesses to transition to cleaner vehicles not subject to daily charges.

It is also estimated to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by almost 50,000 tonnes, helping the city fight the climate emergency.

Since plans to introduce the CAZ were confirmed by the council last year, Leeds has already seen a significant shift towards lower emission vehicles.

New licensing data reveals that taxi and private hire operators in the city have replaced around 1,000 diesel and petrol vehicles with lower emission hybrid, electric or LPG powered vehicles since last January. Additionally the council has helped dozens of operators of HGVs, buses and coaches upgrade or retrofit around 170 larger vehicles.

A new online vehicle checker—developed and launched today by central government—will make it easier for individuals to check whether they will be affected by the Leeds Clean Air Charging Zone or similar zones across the country.

Owners of affected vehicles are encouraged to check whether they might be eligible for a number of charge exemptions or financial support available by visiting: www.leeds.gov.uk/cleanairzone.

The council intends to announce an updated ‘go live’ date for the Clean Air Charging Zone in March, however it has also confirmed that the zone will not launch sooner than July 2020 due to previously announced delays to essential government systems required for the zone's operation.

 

Councillor James Lewis, Executive Member with responsibility for air quality said:

“Like most residents in Leeds we believe that tackling air pollution to protect the health of everyone in Leeds is a priority.

“We’re already seeing hundreds of cleaner vehicles on our streets and as the Clean Air Charging Zone draws nearer we will no doubt see even more of the worst polluting vehicles disappear from our roads.

“Helping owners of affected vehicles switch to less polluting models that won’t be charged is the best way to support local businesses. It is also the best way to improve air quality in Leeds before the charging zone’s introduction.

“I strongly encourage every affected vehicle owner to visit our website today and find out more about what they need to do to prepare for the zone and explore the financial support and exemptions available."

 

ENDS

 

For media enquiries please contact:

Chad Newton

chad.newton@leeds.gov.uk

01133 789849

or

Rebecca Watson

rebecca.watson@leeds.gov.uk

01133 781885

Myths

Let's clear a few things up

Myth:

Cyclists and pedestrians are exposed to more air pollution than drivers

Fact:

Wrong. As well as being better for your health and fitness, evidence shows that cyclists and pedestrians are also less exposed to air pollution than people in vehicles. This is because your air filter probably doesn’t remove pollution from the air it circulates and being on the road itself means that your vehicles is surrounded by exhaust fumes. Pedestrians and cyclists are also less exposed because even 1 metre away from traffic, there is considerably less pollution than on the road itself.

Myth:

Turning your engine on and off again whilst sat in traffic releases more emissions than leaving it running.

Fact:

Whether you’re stuck in traffic or just waiting to pick someone up, if you think that your car might be stationary for more than 2 minutes it’s better to turn your engine off than leave it running. Doing so will reduce the amount of gases harmful to our health and the environment that your car emits. It’s an easy way to reduce your own contribution to air pollution!

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