Leeds residents and businesses are being asked for their views on proposals to tackle air pollution in the city, including plans to charge for the use of polluting buses, HGVs and taxis in parts of the city.
A two-month consultation was launched by Leeds city council on Tuesday (2 January) into the plans which aim to bring the city in-line with air pollution limits within the soonest possible timeframe.
The authority was one of five named within the government’s 2015 air quality plan as requiring to establish a clean air zone by 2020 to help bring the UK into compliance with the Air Quality Directive target on nitrogen dioxide emissions.
Resulting proposals produced by the city council include the introduction of a Clean Air Zone that would charge buses, HGVs, taxis and private hire vehicles that fail to meet emissions standards for entering.
Under the plans, private vehicles would not be required to pay a charge to enter the Clean Air Zone from October 2018.
The proposed zone would cover all roads within the outer ring road with the M1 and M62 as the south-eastern boundary but would not include vehicles that divert around the outer ring road, motorways, or vehicles which cross the city using the M621.
As part of the consultation, the city council has asked for views on the potential standards and charges applied to vehicles obligated to pay to enter the proposed clean air zone.
This which would include charges of £100 per day for EU5 or earlier diesel buses and coaches, £100 per day for EU5 or earlier diesel HGVs and £12.50 per day for EU5 or earlier diesel or EU3 or earlier taxis or private hire vehicles.
Public responses to the consultation will shape the council’s final air quality proposal which will be presented to the government for approval in 2018. Views are also being sought on other measures the city council could consider to address air pollution.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds city council executive board member with responsibility for sustainability and the environment said: “Reducing air pollution in Leeds is vitally important for the health of our city and something that we have to tackle now.
“I would urge everyone to take a few minutes out of their day to have their say on our plans for a charging clean air zone for Leeds and other proposals to reduce pollution.
“The comments we receive as part of this consultation will help us provide a rounded proposal to submit to government later this year and ensure we are asking for support in the right areas, making sure we have the right funding to deliver the best possible proposal for Leeds.â€?
Other proposals being explored by the council include support packages to work with businesses and residents to increase the adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles, raising awareness of air pollution and actions that individuals can take, and working alongside the transport strategy to encourage people to shift their choice of transport.
Stakeholders have until 2 March to provide views on the consultation.
Leeds Clean Air Zone consultation