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Leeds opens next round of CAZ funding for businesses

Leeds City Council is inviting HGV businesses affected by the upcoming Clean Air Zone (CAZ) to apply for the second round of financial support.

Currently, £3.39m of financial support has already been provisionally approved for affected businesses and the council is now launching a new competition to provide another opportunity for HGV operators to apply for the remaining secured support funding.

Applications will re-open on August 1 for owners of HGVs based in or operating within Leeds to apply for grants of up to £16,000 to upgrade or retrofit their non-compliant vehicles.

Meanwhile, owners and leaseholders of taxi and private hire vehicles that have been licensed with Leeds City Council for one year or longer can still choose between applying for either a £10,000 interest-free loan per vehicle (which can be used towards switching to a compliant model or retrofitting to LPG) or a £1,500 grant per vehicle to cover transitional costs.

Additionally, the council has confirmed that operators of road freight transport vehicles for hire or reward—who were not eligible to receive funding earlier this year—will be eligible for this latest funding round.

Last month, Leeds announced the CAZ, which was due to come into effect on January 1 2020, will be ‘significantly’ postponed due to the government for not delivering digital vehicle checking tools in time that are needed to make the zones operational.

AirQualityNews has asked Leeds City Council to confirm a new date.

Cllr James Lewis, executive member with responsibility for air quality said: ‘Like most residents, Leeds City Council believes that tackling air pollution to protect the health of everyone in our city is a priority.

‘Helping owners of affected vehicles switch to less polluting models that won’t be charged is the best way to support local businesses. It’s also the best way to improve air quality in Leeds before the charging zone’s introduction.

‘I strongly encourage every affected business to visit our website today and find out more about the financial support options available’.

The council has also launched a new consultation to hear views on which large vehicles should qualify for a ‘specialist vehicle’ exemption and whether existing temporary exemptions for the taxi and private hire sector should be extended to include vehicles licensed by other authorities.

Photo Credit – Lad 2011

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