Leeds plans to charge HGV drivers £50 per day for polluting air

Published: 15 October 2018

Leeds plans to charge HGV drivers £50 per day for polluting air

A new plan has been put in place to reduce air pollution in the city, these plans would see lorry drivers charged £50 a day for access to the city.
The Clean Air Zone is set to be the first of a nationwide plan to use a scheme like London’s current emissions system. Drivers will also be observed by a series of cameras from early 2020. This would have an impact on HGVs and public transport who would face the highest cost for access to roads in Leeds.
The local council expects the plans to become majorly significant and lead to a large reduction in nitrogen dioxide in the city’s air. Research by Public Health England showed NO2 leads to an estimated 29,000 UK deaths annually.

Many firms have expressed their concerns and frustrations regarding the new plans, mentioning it will only have a negative impact on the environment as many drivers continue to switch from HGVs to vans that don’t face the charge for access to Leeds’ roads.

During 2016 the government commanded local officials within the 5 cities with the most N02 emissions to introduce plans that would decrease emission levels and improve air quality for local residents. Other cities listed include: Birmingham, Derby, Nottingham and Southampton who are also expected to implement plans soon.

Last Tuesday the plans went public through an interactive map as well as drawing up charges for various vehicles. While buses and coaches are charged £12.50, no other vehicle is charges £50 for access to the city as HGVs are.

Leeds officials are hoping the government will approve the plans for December, ready to launch in January. Local councillor James Lewis spoke about the plans saying the plans will achieve results “as quickly as possible, the plans have been carefully developed following months of consultation with thousands of residents and local businesses.”

An RHA spokesman said the plans were based on “flawed logic” adding that this will continue to increase the rate of HGV drivers switching to vans which would “likely boost pollution and congestion.”
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