Drop in pollution sees uncertainty over introduction of Leeds CAZ

Leeds City Council has shared an update on the status of the planned Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in the city, which is being reviewed after a fall in pollution levels in 2020.

The council reports that air pollution in the city is now below legal limits and, if trends continue, there will be no government support to introduce a CAZ.

A review into whether Leeds will fail legal limits in the future is ongoing, with clarity expected in the Autumn. In the meantime, financial support for a CAZ has been paused until further direction is given. That included an estimated £6.3m for a network of ANPR cameras to identify non-compliant vehicles.

Deputy Leader and Executive Member with responsibility for air quality Councillor James Lewis says: “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 while 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.”

Original plans for a CAZ in Leeds had already been delayed until January 2021. More than £6.8m has been earmarked by Leeds City Council to help local businesses switch to greener vehicles.