3 September 2020

Leeds City Council suspends plans for its Clean Air Zone (CAZ)

During the pandemic, pollution levels in Leeds have fallen significantly, and if they stay below legal limits, the council will not receive the Government’s support to introduce a CAZ.

Councillor James Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, said: ‘Given this uncertainty, our financial support will continue to be paused until the review is complete and we have received further direction.

‘I recognise that at an already uncertain time, this latest update will be frustrating for many businesses. I hope to be able to clarify the future of the Leeds CAZ in the autumn.’

Leeds City Council is working closely with central government to review whether pollution will ever reach illegal levels.

Lewis added: ‘Thanks to the city’s collective action, local air quality has actually been improving for some time.’

Many of the city’s buses, taxis, private hire and businesses are now using cleaner vehicles and it has accelerated highways schemes that will reduce traffic and create more space for cyclists and pedestrians.

Leeds City Council previously planned to launch its CAZ on 28th September. Non-Euro VI HGVs, buses and coaches faced a £50 daily charge for driving in the zone, while non-Euro 6 diesel and non-Euro 4 petrol taxis and private hire vehicles would have incurred a £12.50 charge. Private vehicles will not incur charges.

The council is also investing in public transport infrastructure as part of its £270 million Connecting Leeds transport programme, which includes supporting the uptake of electric and low emission vehicles.