V8 State of Mind

£100? You're having me on! Hauliers charged to enter Leeds city centre

£100? You're having me on! Hauliers charged to enter Leeds city centre


Heading into Leeds? Your employer might have to get their hand in their pocket.


That's the word from Leeds City Council, which has released plans for a Category B Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in its city centre.


Unless you're driving a Euro-6, your firm'll have to shell out a ton before gaining access to the centre of the northern metropolis.


When are they expecting us to fork out?


Not till 2020. That's plenty of notice, at least.


It'll affect HGVs, busses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles. Because it's Category B, it'll leave cars and vans well alone. The CAZ'll encompass all roads within the Leeds outer ring road. 


The Council has yet to decide, however, how it will go about actually charging hauliers. A system similar to the one used in London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), where number-plate-checking cameras operate 24 hours a day, is touted as a possibility. There is a chance, then, that we won't be subjected to barriers and toll booths.


It's a matter of compliance...


That's what they say. The air quality situation in Leeds is one of the poorest in the country. The CAZ must make the city compliant with national emissions levels, and over the next few weeks, the Board will be discussing how they can make this happen as soon as is practicable, with as little disruption as possible. 


Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, who's responsible for Leeds City Council's approach to sustainability and the environment, said: 


"In Leeds ensuring that we improve air quality and therefore the lives of all the people living and working in the city is a real priority for us.

"To ensure we hit our air quality targets, we will need significant support from the government. A wide variety of actions will need to be taken, and for this we will need greater investment in alternative modes of transport and infrastructure to support the growth of alternative fuelled vehicles."


But that's not all...


Not by a long shot. In terms of the War on Unclean Air, this is just the tip of the berg. Numerous other cities, among them Birmingham, Derby, Nottingam and Southampton, will be implementing similar zones from 2019 - and that's only phase 1. 


Phase 2 will involve Middlesborough and Sheffield. whose zones will affect HGVs and vans. Whereas zones affecting HGVs only will implemented in:

  • Bath;
  • Bristol;
  • Coventry;
  • Manchester &
  • Newcastle.


Similar plans are expected to be rolled out in N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but the whens, whats and hows of those zones are still very much in the ideas stage.


As for Leeds, it's not that they don't practice what they preach. The City Council recently switched to a fleet of ultra-low and zero-emissions vans and wagons. And with a fleet totalling over 1,100 vehicles, it boasts more enviro-friendly motors than any other local authority in England.


Good for them.


Are you getting tired of the pollution of red tape? Sick of hauliers getting the sharp end of the stick? Grab yourself a breath of fresh air, with our upcoming WTD webinar - cutting through the fog of working time regulations:

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Picture of Rex Grainger
Written by Rex Grainger

Chronicling life behind the V8; off the analogue, on the RTD and very vroom-vroom...

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