RHA calls on Leeds to reconsider CAZ

Newly-appointed RHA policy spokesman on the environment and regulation, Chris Ashley, has written to Leeds City Council urging them to reconsider the planned criteria for exempting heavy goods vehicles from the proposed Clean Air Zone charges.

Chris said, “Whilst we welcome that Leeds has decided to consider some exemptions from charges, we are disappointed with the very limited criteria based on a  narrowlist of vehicle types. Instead, we urge the Council to exempt lorries based on the activity being undertaken while in the zone.”

“It makes little sense to charge, for example, a household removals lorry who may be in the Clean Air Zone for long periods when their engine is switched off for most of that time.”

The Clean Air Zone proposed for Leeds would see hauliers with non-compliant lorries who do not qualify for an exemption slapped with a £50 fine every day they entered the zone. Leeds City Council has also put back the start-date for the Clean Air Zone to at least 1 July 2020. The RHA is still seeking clarity as to when charging for the Clean Air Zone will really begin.

The RHA supports measures for cleaning up the nation’s air, but not at the cost of businesses closing, jobs being lost and the price of goods rising as haulage firms are priced out of delivering into the various Clean Air Zones proposed in cities across the country. An “intelligent” phasing proposal has been developed by the RHA that would minimise the impact of any charging clean air zones for most businesses.