Leeds City Council have today (August 19) announced that their plans for a Clean Air Zone within the city may not have to go ahead due to lower emissions during the lockdown period.
The council puts the lower emissions down to fewer heavy goods vehicles, buses and taxis entering the city, as well as fewer cars.
As a result of the lower emissions, the city now finds itself with below legal limits levels of Nitrogen Oxide which means the council may not have the financial backing of central Government in order to put in place schemes designed to lower emissions.
The council explains that their emissions have been steadily reducing as a result of their own interventions.
There are already plans in place to invest £270m in the Connecting Leeds scheme, which aims to support the uptake of low emissions and electric vehicles.
Over £6m has previously been spent on installing cameras to monitor cars coming in and out of the city zone.
Leeds City Council intends to work closely with central Government in order to determine what the next steps for the Clean Air Zone will be.
Councillor James Lewis, Deputy Leader for Leeds City Council, said:
“I recognise that at an already uncertain time, this latest update will be frustrating for many businesses. However, I would like to ask drivers and operators for their continued patience whilst we carry out this urgent review. I hope to be able to clarify the future of the Leeds CAZ in the Autumn.
“Tackling the climate emergency and protecting the health of everyone in Leeds remain priorities for this council. Regardless of any future decision on the charging zone we will continue to deliver schemes that enable sustainable travel and the shift to zero emission vehicles."