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Press release: 13 October 2020
Leeds is the first city to abandon its Clean Air Zone plans since the pandemic began, despite having already invested £13m in the scheme.
In contrast, Birmingham and Bath have announced last week that they are going ahead with their Clean Air Zones.
Andrea Lee, clean air campaigns manager at environmental law charity ClientEarth, 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.
“While the promise of a Clean Air Zone has prompted drivers and businesses to switch to cleaner vehicles, the latest reported air pollution measurements from the Council still show that parts of the city are over national air quality standards.
“With Covid-19 endangering people’s respiratory health, rowing back on a measure that has been proven to reduce pollution seems not only illogical but reckless – leaving Leeds unprotected as other cities implement their own Clean Air Zones.”
ClientEarth is a charity that uses the power of the law to protect people and the planet. We are international lawyers finding practical solutions for the world’s biggest environmental challenges. We are fighting climate change, protecting oceans and wildlife, making forest governance stronger, greening energy, making business more responsible and pushing for government transparency. We believe the law is a tool for positive change. From our offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, Berlin and Beijing, we work on laws throughout their lifetime, from the earliest stages to implementation. And when those laws are broken, we go to court to enforce them.