Funding open for operators to prepare for Leeds CAZ

Operators of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and non-scheduled buses and coaches can apply for funding to prepare for the clean air zone (CAZ), says Leeds City Council.

Earlier this year, the council secured Government funding to help owners of affected vehicles switch to less polluting vehicles that won’t be charged for driving within the zone.

More than £6.29 million has already been provisionally approved for affected businesses. The council is now launching a further funding round to provide another opportunity for operators of heavy goods vehicles and non-scheduled buses and coaches to apply for financial support.

Neil Evans, Leeds City Council's director of resources and housing, said: "Leeds City Council is working hard to tackle air pollution and protect the health of everyone in our city. This funding will help owners of affected vehicles switch to less polluting models that won’t be charged.

“This is a great way to support local businesses in preparation for the charging zone. I strongly encourage every affected business to visit our website today and find out more about the financial support options available."

Applications are now open for owners of heavy goods vehicles and non-scheduled buses and coaches based in or operating within Leeds to apply for grants of up to £16,000 to upgrade or retrofit their non-compliant vehicles. Applications will be open until December 13.

Meanwhile, owners, operators, and leasers of taxi and private hire vehicles that have been licenced and driving with Leeds City Council for one year or longer (prior to October 17, 2018) can still choose between applying for either a £10,000 interest-free loan per vehicle (which can be used towards switching to a compliant model or retrofitting to liquefied petroleum gas - LPG) or a £1,500 grant per vehicle to cover transitional costs to a new, compliant vehicle. The full eligibility criteria can be found here.

The CAZ was due to come into force from January next year, but has been delayed after Government delays to a vehicle checker tool.

When the zone goes live, however, non-compliant heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles that do not meet emissions standards will be charged for driving within the Clean Air Charging Zone boundary. This includes shuttle buses and rail replacement buses that don't meet emissions standards.

Compliant vehicles that meet emissions standards will not be charged.

Light goods vehicles, private cars and motorcycles will not be charged for driving in the zone regardless of their emissions standard.

Leeds City Council has confirmed that a number of vehicles - including those used by emergency services, eligible school buses, and those with a historic tax class - will qualify for temporary or permanent exemptions and will not pay charges.

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