Daily charges for some vehicles entering Leeds 'Clean Air Zone' in council plan to cut emissions

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Buses, taxis and lorries could be hit with daily £100 fines as Leeds City Council chiefs aim to improve the quality of the city’s air.

The fines are part of proposals unveiled by the local authority as it looks to create a Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

Leeds traffic.

Leeds traffic.

The council needs to lower the city’s road emissions after it was named as one of 29 local authorities whose roads breached legal pollution levels.

Road emissions must be less than 40mcg per cubic metre of nitrogen dioxide otherwise it is a breach of law. Exceedances of this limit currently take place in select spots within the city.

The new proposals would create a CAZ that covers all roads within the Leeds outer ring road, with motorways acting as the southern boundary.

Under the draft proposals Morley would fall inside the CAZ but other areas including Pudsey, Horsforth and Rothwell would not. Buses, coaches and HGVs that enter this area would have to be classed as Euro6 standard - which covers all vehicles produced from September 2015 onwards.



The council is still consulting on whether to propose that taxis must be Euro6 or ultra-low-emission vehicles (ULEVs)- an even more efficient standard.

Taxis that do not meet the relevant standards that enter the CAZ would incur a charge of £12.50 per day while the cost for buses and HGVs would be £100.

Certain classes of vehicle will be exempt, such as wheelchair-accessible taxis.

Neil Evans, Leeds City Council’s director of resources and housing, said the city is tackling its emission levels but more needs to be done.

“We are making an improvement - just not quick enough,” said Mr Evans.

“In order to accelerate that, we’re proposing buses, taxis and HGVs that are pre-2015 would be hit with a significant charge which will encourage them to move over.

“Taxis and private hire will be most affected so we’re looking for a big package to support them to move to hybrid and electric, which would improve the air quality.”

The council’s deputy leader Lucinda Yeadon added: “We want to put forward a proposal that has a positive impact on air quality.

"What we don’t want is a negative impact on livelihoods.”

The report is due to go before the council’s executive board on December 13, with the first consultation process running from January until the end of February.