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Vehicle business leaders have say on Leeds’s clean air plans

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Businesses had their say about the potential impact of Leeds City Council’s clean air proposals at a meeting with the authority.

The roundtable discussion on the city’s Clean Air Zone plans took place at Leeds Town Hall yesterday.

The scheme could include a charge for HGVs, buses, coaches, taxis and private hire – but not residents’ personal cars – within the outer ring road and the motorways acting as the southern boundary. A public consultation is under way but a strategy in some form needs to be implemented by 2020.

Lorna McAtear, head of supply and internal accounts for fleet at Royal Mail, said one of its biggest concerns is “consistency, making sure every city works to the same set of guidelines”.

Toby Poston, director of external relations at the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, said that members “need information and a timetable. They need to know from Leeds, and other cities, what’s going to happen, what types of vehicles are affected and what the options are in terms of grants for charging and incentives”.

He said that the discussion was about helping the council go back to Government, which has funding available to help, with a clear message and plan.

Coun Lucinda Yeadon, the council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, said that reducing air pollution was “a health issue” and the authority has legal and “moral obligations to the people of Leeds”.

The day charge for buses and HGVs could be £100 and £12.50 for other included vehicles.

The YEP interviewed attendees following the discussion after being told that it was a “closed meeting”.