Still no start date for Leeds Clean Air Zone

The start date for Leeds City Council’s charging Clean Air Zone remains up in the air, despite the city pushing ahead with implementing the scheme.

Leeds’ charging Clean Air Zone was scheduled to start on 6th January 2020

Scheduled for introduction in January 2020 alongside Birmingham’s own zone, the scheme is being held back by Government delays, caused by issues with the supporting vehicle checker tool, as announced two weeks ago, as well as the payment tool.

While Birmingham has said its scheme could go ahead by July 2020, Leeds City Council’s project manager (sustainable energy and air quality), Emma Slater spoke to Fleet World today (4 July) at the BVRLA’s Future Mobility Congress event in Birmingham and said that the start date for the Leeds Clean Air Zone is still unknown, due to the system issues.

It means delays when it comes to vital work to tackle air pollution following research that found parts of the city would likely fail legal air quality levels by 2020, which led the Government to call for work to tackle air pollution as soon as possible.

However, Leeds Council is continuing its own work to push ahead with the scheme – which as previously announced will take the form of a ‘Class B’ zone that exempts cars and vans.

Work has begun on putting the ANPR camera systems in place – which will police the zone 24/7 and are expected to capture 98% of vehicles.

Meanwhile at the BVRLA event, the council’s Emma Slater confirmed the charges for vehicles entering the zone.

Buses, coaches and HGVs will be charged half the cost for entering London’s ULEZ, at £50/day while taxis and private hire vehicles will face charges of £12.50/day. As previously announced, Leeds City Council is inviting businesses to apply for £23m worth of financial support to help them prepare for the zone.

Grants and interest-free loans are being made available to assist vehicle owners with the costs of switching to compliant vehicles. As well as support for buses, coaches and HGVs, the scheme also enables owners and leaseholders of taxi and private hire vehicles that have been licensed with Leeds City Council for one year or longer.

Payments will be required by midnight the day after entering the zone, or can be paid in advance. However, Leeds Council’s Emma Slater said this may be extended following ongoing consultation.

It means delays when it comes to vital work to tackle air pollution following research that found parts of the city would likely fail legal air quality levels by 2020, which led the Government to call for work to tackle air pollution as soon as possible.

However, Leeds Council is continuing its own work to push ahead with the scheme – which as previously announced will take the form of a ‘Class B’ zone that exempts cars and vans.

Work has begun on putting the ANPR camera systems in place – which will police the zone 24/7 and are expected to capture 98% of vehicles.

Meanwhile at the BVRLA event, the council’s Emma Slater confirmed the charges for vehicles entering the zone.

Buses, coaches and HGVs will be charged half the cost for entering London’s ULEZ, at £50/day while taxis and private hire vehicles will face charges of £12.50/day. As previously announced, Leeds City Council is inviting businesses to apply for £23m worth of financial support to help them prepare for the zone.

Grants and interest-free loans are being made available to assist vehicle owners with the costs of switching to compliant vehicles. As well as support for buses, coaches and HGVs, the scheme also enables owners and leaseholders of taxi and private hire vehicles that have been licensed with Leeds City Council for one year or longer.

Payments will be required by midnight the day after entering the zone, or can be paid in advance. However, Leeds City Council’s Emma Slater said this may be extended following ongoing consultation.

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.