As of the 6th January 2020, Leeds Council will be introducing the new Clean Air Charging Zone, or CAZ, with the aim of reducing air pollution and therefore improving air quality in the city. So, with less than a year to go before the change comes into effect, here’s what you need to know…
First things first, no vehicle will be banned from driving in the Clean Air Zone, instead, heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles that do not meet the emissions standards will have to pay a daily fee which could be as much as £50 per day! Private vehicles, motorcycles or light goods vehicles will not be charged to drive in the Clean Air Zone, regardless of their emissions standard.
Second, the physical Clean Air Zone is much more widespread than you might think. It covers most of the area inside the city’s outer ring road from Farsley in the west to Colton in the east, Hunslet in the south and Moor Allerton in the north. In other words, it covers an extensive area and for most people commuting and working in Leeds, it will potentially have an impact.
Road signs will be in place around the boundary of the Clean Air Zone in order to make drivers aware of when they are entering and exiting the zone. It will also be continuously monitored using a network of CCTV cameras equipped with automatic number place recognition (ANPR) technology. Affected vehicles will be responsible for paying the required charges and fees online.
Finally, there is financial support available for businesses that will be affected by the Clean Air Scheme. In fact, Leeds City Council is inviting businesses to apply for a share of £23m worth of financial support that’s available. The grants and interest free loans are being made available to assist owners, leaseholders and operators of affected vehicles with the costs of switching to less polluting vehicles that won’t be charged for driving in the Clean Air Zone.
All three of our office buildings will fall inside the new Clean Air Zone and although the charges are steep for those that are affected, all in all, we think the reduction in air pollution is bound to have a positive impact on those of us living and working in the city.