A council has dropped plans for a clean air zone, claiming a rapid shift to cleaner vehicles means it is not necessary to charge polluting ones to enter the city. Leeds city council had planned to deter older lorries, buses and taxis with entry fees from next year but said air pollution had fallen below the legal limit in the pandemic and was unlikely to exceed it even when traffic returned to normal levels. It said nearly half the city’s taxis were hybrid or electric and with 90 per cent of buses and 80 per cent of heavy goods vehicles having Euro VI engines, which produce minimal emissions, they would have been exempt from charges. But some observers are sceptical. Andrea Lee, of Client Earth, the environmental law charity, said: “Leeds is not out of the woods yet with its toxic air pollution problem, but it’s abandoning the one measure guaranteed to protect people in the shortest possible time.
Times 14th Oct 2020 read more »