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Businesses need clarity on Leeds Clear Air Zone

Mar 24, 2019
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) says businesses operating in and around Leeds urgently need clarification on Leeds City Council’s newly-approved Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

Malcolm BinghamTruck operators also need to be told how to access funding to replace banned commercial vehicles when the low emission zone comes into effect in February 2020. Without this funding, FTA believes that many companies will find it impossible to replace their existing fleets and will struggle to fulfil business contracts in and around the city, threatening their profitability.

However, the exemption of three core industrial areas from the proposed zone until 2024 could mitigate the very worst potential economic damage the zone presents to the local economy and could save local enterprises from a very uncertain future.

Malcolm Bingham, Head of Policy North of England at the FTA said, “FTA has been working closely with Leeds City Council and is pleased it acted upon our recommendation to grant exemption to three core industrial areas – Holbeck, Pudsey and Seacroft – until 2024 to mitigate the damage the zone will inflict upon the local economy. Nevertheless, the exemption of three areas is not enough to prevent operating costs for small businesses from soaring, at a time when margins are already stretched and the economic outlook is uncertain. This also ignores other contributors to emissions levels across the city and places the burden for cleaning up the city’s air squarely at the feet of the very businesses which keep Leeds trading – this is unfair and essentially amounts to a tax on business.”

He continued, “The Council has stated it will grant businesses up to £16,000 to replace HGVs which do not meet the required emission standards. But this funding is subject to a competition and the freight industry urgently needs details on how businesses can apply and what the conditions are. The logistics industry desperately needs clarity on the options available to them – including where to apply and when – for them to reach compliance before the Zone comes into effect in just one year.”

Photo: Malcolm Bingham

 

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