Leeds City Council has awarded more than £3.7 million in financial support to help local businesses switch to less polluting vehicles ahead of the Clean Air Charging Zone (CAZ). The zone will tackle air pollution and protect the health of everyone in Leeds by encouraging businesses to transition to cleaner vehicles not subject to daily charges. It is also estimated to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by almost 50,000 tonnes, helping the city fight the climate emergency. Since plans to introduce the CAZ were confirmed by the council last year, Leeds has already seen a significant shift towards lower emission vehicles.
New licensing data reveals that taxi and private hire operators in the city have replaced around 1,000 diesel and petrol vehicles with lower emission hybrid, electric or LPG powered vehicles since last January. Additionally the council has helped dozens of operators of HGVs, buses and coaches upgrade or retrofit around 170 larger vehicles. A new online vehicle checker—developed and launched today by central government—will make it easier for individuals to check whether they will be affected by the Leeds Clean Air Charging Zone or similar zones across the country.
Owners of affected vehicles are encouraged to check whether they might be eligible for a number of charge exemptions or financial support available by visiting: www.leeds.gov.uk/cleanairzone. The council intends to announce an updated ‘go live’ date for the Clean Air Charging Zone in March, however it has also confirmed that the zone will not launch sooner than July 2020 due to previously announced delays to essential government systems required for the zone's operation.