Leeds begins Clean Air Zone infrastructure installation

Emma Greedy

Leeds City Council has begun to install the camera infrastructure required to monitor and enforce the charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ), despite a likely delay to implementation.

When live, the zone will aim to tackle air pollution in Leeds by encouraging businesses to transition to cleaner, less polluting vehicles to avoid daily charges.

The council has now begun to install a network of around 300 new, purpose-built cameras equipped with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology at over a hundred junctions around the perimeter of the zone as planned.

The cameras will only be used to enforce the CAZ; they will not be able to detect the speed of vehicles and can not be used to issue speeding or parking fines.

By recognising registration numbers and comparing them with a national government database, the camera network system will be able to identify non-compliant vehicles driving within the CAZ boundary when the zone is live.

The network will be designed, supplied, installed, operated and maintained by Siemens Mobility Limited. The company has previously delivered similar solutions to monitor the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London.

James Lewis, the council's executive member for resources and sustainability said, ‘Like most residents, Leeds City Council believes that tackling air pollution to protect the health of everyone in the city is a priority.’

Whilst it is disappointing that the council has been forced to postpone the Clean Air Charging Zone’s introduction because of delays to government systems, the council is doing everything it can to ensure that we are ready to implement the zone within the shortest possible timescale.’ 

‘Despite the government’s delays, we are already taking a range of actions that will support the reduction of air pollution prior to the introduction of the CAZ. We are also continuing to financially support owners of affected vehicles switching to less polluting models that won’t be charged as doing so is the best way to improve air quality before the zone goes live.’

‘Money raised from CAZ charges will only be used to cover the costs of operating the zone itself, to support owners of affected vehicles, and for other schemes to improve air quality,’ Mr Lewis added . 

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