Statement by Cllr James Lewis regarding the Clean Van Commitment

Commenting on the recent announcement that Leeds City Council are one of 16 organisations to sign a new 'Clean Van Commitment'-- led by charity Global Action Plan in partnership with Engie and backed by the Department for Transport -- to collectively invest £40 million in electric vans over the next two years and kickstart the replacement of the UK's four million diesel vans, Cllr James Lewis, executive member with responsibility for sustainability and the environment, said:

“Leeds City Council is proud to be a signatory of the Clean Van Commitment recently announced. This is just another great example of action the council is taking to tackle air pollution and protect the health of everyone in our city.

“The council already operate more electric vehicles than any other local authority in England and we will be continuously moving our fleet to cleaner vehicles. In fact, we have a bold ambition to fully transition our fleet to zero or ultra-low emission vehicles by 2025. Across the council, many zero and ultra-low emission vehicles are already being used across a wide range of council services including property maintenance, sweeping roads, civil enforcement and collecting refuse.

“All of us that live and work in Leeds share a responsibility for improving the quality of the air we breathe.

“In addition to greening our own fleet, the council is working hard to reduce its own contribution to air pollution in other important ways. For example, we have rolled out flexible and remote working in order to minimise travel; encourage our staff to use public transport where travel is necessary; provide an annual cycle-to-work scheme and, in some offices, cycle lockers and showers to make it easier for staff to bike to work.

"We are working with a number of employers and businesses in the city to help them recognise the benefits of taking these simple steps, and others, to help improve pollution in the city.”


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Notes to editors:

A full press release about the Clean Van Commitment can be found at the following link:

More information on the Clean Van Commitment can be found at the following links:


Let's clear a few things up


Cyclists and pedestrians are exposed to more air pollution than drivers


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.


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


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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