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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Leeds Clean Air Zone suspended for the foreseeable future

Date: Thursday 27 August 2020

The CAZ, which was due to start in January, was originally delayed in March.

However, the council has recently announced a further suspension to the plans following significant improvements to air pollution during the pandemic.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, air quality has improved significantly as travel and the number of cars on the roads declined.

If the city’s air pollution were to stay below the legal limits, then the council would no longer have support from the government to introduce the CAZ.

The financial support will remain paused until a review of the city’s air pollution is complete.

According to the council, air pollution has also declined because many buses, taxis, private hire vehicles and businesses are now driving cleaner vehicles and the council has also accelerated highways schemes to reduce traffic and create more space for cyclists and pedestrians.

Cllr James Lewis, deputy leader for Leads City Council said: ‘I recognise that at an already uncertain time, this latest update will be frustrating for many businesses.

‘However, I would like to ask drivers and operators for their continued patience whilst we carry out this urgent review. I hope to be able to clarify the future of the Leeds CAZ in the Autumn.

‘Tackling the climate emergency and protecting the health of everyone in Leeds remain priorities for this council. Regardless of any future decision on the charging zone, we will continue to deliver schemes that enable sustainable travel and the shift to zero-emission vehicles.’

Similar schemes in Birmingham and Bristol were also put on hold when the nationwide lockdown measures were imposed at the end of March. Whilst Birmingham Council is claiming that local emissions are still above legal levels, it is experiencing issues with the rollout of the scheme.