LEEDS is to charge the owners of gas guzzling vehicles who want to drive in the city centre from 2020.
The plan announced by the Government this morning is being rolled out to improve air quality in the city and the new ‘Leeds Clean Air Zone’ will affect older buses, taxis, coaches and lorries.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said the scheme, similar to congestion charges in London, will involve a fee. It has been been previously reported this could be up to £12.50 per vehicle.
She said: “Our Clean Air Zones are targeted on the largest vehicles, whilst not affecting car owners and minimising the impact on business
“We want to ensure people can continue to drive into city centres and by targeting action at the most polluting coaches, taxis, buses and lorries we will encourage the use of cleaner vehicles.”
Clean Air Zones will also be introduced in Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton.
Under Government plans no private cars will be charged in these cities and newer vehicles that meet the latest emission standards will not need to pay.
The Clean Air Zones will be targeted at areas of each city where the air quality problem is most serious and latest Government report shows Headingley in Leeds has the some of the worst air quality levels in the city.
Birmingham and Leeds will also discourage the most polluting diesel vans and implement other measures which may include park and ride schemes, signage, changes in road layouts and provision of infrastructure for alternative fuels.
The Government wants to reduce levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which official figures claim is responsible for 23,500 deaths in Britain a year.