As part of its Clean Air Zone plans to meet legal air quality targets, Leeds City Council is now proposing that drivers of and companies using such vehicles would pay £50 per day to operate in a roughly 90 square kilometre radius within the city’s outer ring road, whereas it was previously suggested the rate could be £100.
Future charges for coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles operating in Leeds which are not compliant with latest emissions standards could be less than originally proposed.
Taxi and private hire vehicles could be charged at £12.50 as initially planned, or £50 a week. It has never been intended that private vehicles be charged under the plans, which have been updated after a public consultation ended earlier this year.
the suggestion that the boundary be around the A61 and A63, not far from Leeds city centre.
The council believes that this new blueprint – which it is estimated could cut those affected by the charges by thousands – would still meet air quality targets and reduce economic harm as many businesses operating near the motorway would be exempt.
The council is lobbying Government for help with support packages for affected drivers with a £220m national fund.
Coun James Lewis, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for Resources and Sustainability, yesterday said: “Because of the Government’s really precarious legal situation, if we are reasonable in what we are asking for, they’re not going to come back and say no.”
Then in July 2017, Government released its Revised National Air Quality Plan, naming Leeds as one of 28 cities required to implement a Clean Air Zone.
It is estimated that around 40,000 premature deaths every year are attributable to poor air quality in the UK.