Final proposals for Leeds' Clean Air Charging Zone revealed

Leeds City Council has outlined its final plans to reduce air pollution and protect the health of everyone in Leeds, including the introduction of a Clean Air Charging Zone (CAZ).

Senior councillors will publicly discuss the plans at the October meeting of the council’s executive board before they will be submitted to the government for approval.

The key elements of the council’s proposals are as follows:

  • A Clean Air Charging Zone (CAZ) covering more than half of the city will be introduced from 6th January 2020 and monitored using a network of purpose-built cameras. An interactive map showing the proposed zone boundary is available online. The zone will improve air quality both inside and outside of the zone.
     
  • Charging the worst polluting heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles only. Light goods vehicles (LGVs) and private vehicles would not be charged.
     
  • Requesting £27 million (based on current best estimates) in funding from the government’s £220 million Clean Air Fund to support local businesses to upgrade or retrofit affected vehicles through grants and interest-free loans.
     
  • Requesting £13 million (based on current best estimates) in funding from the government’s £255 million Implementation Fund to cover costs associated with the infrastructure and operation of the zone.

The proposals come after the government instructed the council to outline plans to tackle air pollution in Leeds after identifying some parts of the city as being likely to fail legal air quality levels by 2020.

Evidence shows that spending time in areas with high levels of air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms, damage lung function and reduce life expectancy.
 

Cllr James Lewis, executive member with responsibility for sustainability and the environment, said:

“Like more than three quarters of residents, we believe that tackling air pollution should be a priority for Leeds.

“The plans we’re putting forward have been carefully developed following months of consultation with thousands of residents and local businesses to ensure they are the best plans for Leeds. They will improve air quality within the shortest possible time, tackling air pollution and protecting the health of everyone in the city.

“A key element of these proposals is the support we’re proposing to help affected local businesses transition to cleaner vehicles which avoid charges. We believe that it is important to help local businesses in order for the zone to most successfully reduce pollution.

“We will therefore be asking the government for around £27 million (based on our current best estimates) from the national Clean Air Fund to enable us to help businesses transition to cleaner vehicles which avoid charges.

“We look forward to continuing working closely with the government to ensure the successful and timely delivery of the Clean Air Charging Zone in Leeds".
 

A link to the full report and appendices can be found on the council website.

More information on what Leeds City Council are already doing to tackle air pollution can be found on the official Clean Air Leeds website at: www.cleanairleeds.co.uk

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

Chad Newton

Communications and Marketing Officer

Email: chad.newton@leeds.gov.uk

Tel: 01133 789849

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!

News

All the latest from Clean Air Leeds

We know we need to improve air quality in the city and are committed to doing our bit to make a difference.

What we are doing