London ULEZ: 'No plans' for ultra-low emission zone in Leeds - West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin

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West Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin has said she has “no plans” to bring in a London-style ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ).

Drivers in parts of the capital have to pay £12.50 a day if their vehicle doesn’t meet certain standards, as part of a scheme to improve air quality.

But London mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans to expand the zone to more boroughs has proved highly controversial, and were blamed for Labour’s failure to unseat the Conservatives in the recent Uxbridge by-election.

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Now, Mayor Brabin has ruled out an ULEZ being brought into West Yorkshire anytime soon, saying responsibility for air quality lies with individual councils in the region.

Plans for a clean air zone in Leeds were scrapped in 2020.Plans for a clean air zone in Leeds were scrapped in 2020.
Plans for a clean air zone in Leeds were scrapped in 2020.

Bradford has a clean air zone of its own, with commercial vehicles below the emissions threshold charged up to £50 for driving in parts of the city.

Plans for a similar scheme in Leeds were scrapped in 2020, after air quality was deemed to have sufficiently improved before its introduction.

Mayor Brabin’s comments on the issue came in a written response a question from Leeds Conservative councillor Matthew Robinson, who asked if the mayor would “rule out the introduction of an ULEZ in West Yorkshire”.

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She said: “There are currently no plans to introduce a ULEZ in West Yorkshire. Air quality is currently the statutory responsibility of our West Yorkshire district partners and we will continue to support the work they do to improve air quality for everyone who lives and works in West Yorkshire.

“This includes working with Leeds City Council alongside the other four West Yorkshire district partner councils to develop a West Yorkshire air quality strategy as part of our ongoing climate and environment work to reduce emissions to support health and environmental improvements.”

Councillor Robinson had been due to raise the point at a full council meeting in Leeds earlier this month, where Mayor Brabin addressed elected members.

Time elapsed before the question could be asked however, which meant written responses were given to all councillors whose questions had not been voiced.