£12 charge to drive into Leeds

editorial image

Drivers in Leeds will be slapped with a new charge if they want to take a trip through the city centre.

By 2020, a new scheme similar to London’s congestion zone will be rolled out – and it could cost up to £12 per vehicle to drive down Leeds’s most popular streets.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said she wanted to target vehicles belching out the most harmful fumes.

Headingley in Leeds will be one hot-spot to tackle as new data shows it still has pollution rates far higher than the legal limit.

She said: “Our Clean Air Zones are targeted on the largest vehicles, whilst not affecting car owners and minimising the impact on business.

“We want to ensure people can continue to drive into city centres and by targeting action against the most polluting coaches, taxis, buses and lorries we will encourage the use of cleaner vehicles.”

Clean Air Zones will also be introduced in Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton.

The announcement comes as the Government pledges its commitment to the reducing pollution in UK cities, which are responsible for 25,000 deaths a year nationally and 2,500 in Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Since 2003. levels of harmful nitrogen oxide have declined in the city centre, but in Headingley residents are still breathing in dirty air beyond legal limits.

Leeds Lib Dems have welcomed the Government’s decision to impose a Clean Air Zone in the city, who believe it shines a spotlight on Leeds’s ‘repeated failure’ to meet EU emissions targets for emissions.