FTA demands clarity on Leeds CAZ

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has demanded clarification on the newly approved Leeds Clean Air Zone.

According to the FTA, businesses now need to understand how to access funding to replace their banned commercial vehicles ahead of February next year when the Clean Air Zone is brought online.

The FTA claims that a lack of funding could impact businesses’ ability to supply the city with the goods it needs.

Leeds Council is offering grants of up to £16,000 to replace lorries that don’t currently meet the newly required emissions standards. “But this funding is subject to a competition, and the freight industry urgently needs details on how businesses can apply and what the conditions are,” said FTA head of policy North of England, Malcolm Bingham.

“The logistics industry desperately needs clarity on the options available to them – including where to apply and when – for them to reach compliance before the Zone comes into effect in just one year.”

However, the exemption of core industrial areas Holbeck, Pudsey and Seacroft from the proposed Zone until 2024 could mitigate the very worst potential economic damage. “This move should also give logistics businesses more time to upgrade their fleets to meet the required emission standards,” said Bingham.

“Nevertheless, the exemption of three areas is not enough to prevent operating costs for small businesses from soaring,” continued Bingham. This penalises the companies and individuals that keep Leeds’s economy thriving, ignoring other contributors to emissions levels across the city. “This is unfair and essentially amounts to a tax on business,” concluded Bingham.