Greener Journeys responds to Leeds City Council Clean Air Zone announcement

Greener Journeys
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Leeds City Council have announced plans to introduce a proposed charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ). A report will be presented to the council’s executive board on Wednesday 13 December outlining a consultation plan on a proposed charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) all roads within the outer ring road, with the motorways acting as the southern boundary.

The vehicles affected are pre-2015 HGVs, buses, coaches, taxis and private hire, but the plans stop short of charging cars and vans.

Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:

“Leeds City Council’s decision to exempt new diesel buses from its proposed charging zone is a crucial move in the city’s attempts to curb its air quality crisis. The latest generation of clean diesel buses, Euro VI, emit 95% fewer NOx emissions than the previous generation and fewer emissions overall than the average Euro 6 car, despite having 15 to 20 times the capacity.

“We also welcome the move to exempt retrofitted Euro VI buses from the charge. Fitting older bus engines with exhaust clean-up technology is the quickest and most cost-effective solution to the UK’s air quality crisis. We are currently leading an unprecedented coalition of stakeholders urging local decision-makers to recognise the economic, environment and social benefits of the new generation of clean British diesel buses. It is vital that other local decision-makers follow Leeds’ example and put Euro VI standard buses at the heart of their air quality plans.

“However, if we are to really tackle our air quality crisis we have to tackle congestion. Halving of average city traffic speeds leads to a 50% increase in emissions from larger vehicles as they crawl along busy urban roads, and average speeds in Leeds are set to fall from 24mph to 17mph by 2030 as congestion rises.

“The sheer number of vehicles on ours road is inextricably linked to poor air quality and much tougher action is needed on the diesel cars and vans which make up 71% of nitrogen dioxide emissions for road transport. For this, much stronger direction is needed from central Government. It is not sufficient for Government to delegate all the politically difficult decisions to local councils.”

 Notes to Editors:

 For further information:

Greener Journeys Press Office
press@greenerjourneys.com or +44 (0)20 3128 8555

For a copy of the report please contact greenerjourneys@mhpc.com

About Greener Journeys: Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. It is a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organizations, user groups and supporters.  It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead. Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year.  For more information visit www.greenerjourneys.com

Image: Mark Ramsay

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