People living in West Leeds can have their say on the latest plans to charge coaches, buses and heavy goods vehicles in Leeds which are not compliant with latest emissions standards.
The council has been directed by the government to provide a full business case by 15 September 2018 which outlines how Leeds will become compliant with air quality standards in the shortest possible time.
At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board next week (Wednesday 27 June), members will be asked to approve entering into a period of statutory public consultation on both the clean air charging zone, the city-wide clean air strategy and proposed changes to licensing conditions for taxis and private hire vehicles.
After receiving almost 9,000 responses to the first phase of consultation around draft plans for the city, the council has now revised plans after listening to the trades affected and the public, to include the following main areas;
A new, smaller boundary area will, the council says, lessen the economic impact on businesses but at the same time ensuring we retain the benefits of improved air quality areas across the city.
A revised tariff for buses has been included in the latest proposals, after feedback from the initial consultation suggested a charge of £100 was too high.
At this time the council is proposing a charge for buses, coaches and HGVS of £50 a day and a charge of £12.50 a day for taxi and private hire vehicles, with a reduced weekly rate available for Leeds licensed drivers who choose to purchase this in advance.
A review of licensing conditions for the taxi and private hire trade in Leeds – a number of proposals and changes will be looked at including some ‘sunset periods’ for drivers that have recently bought new Euro 6 Vehicles and support and finance packages available to help assist the trade in the move to petrol hybrid and electric vehicles.
The ambitions for the city after 2020 – the public and businesses will be asked about what they believe the council should be doing post 2020 to address air pollution in the city. This could mean car-free days in the city, a low emission zone in the city centre or other innovative ideas.
Councillor James Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member for resources and sustainability, said:
“Ensuring we reduce pollution levels across the whole city is a real priority for the council and something we are working hard to achieve. As much as the clean air charging zone forms a key part of our preferred scheme – ensuring all our communities are able to breath clean air is the end goal.”
Those wanting to have their say on revised proposals will be able to view the documents and consultation questionnaire here from 28 June 2018. The consultation will run for six weeks and close on 12 August 2018.
In 2015, Leeds was named by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as one of six cities which will not be compliant with European Union and UK nitrogen dioxide limits by 2020.