Leeds abandons Clean Air Zone plans – ClientEarth reaction

Media reaction

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.”

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