Leicester’s Clean Air Zone plans have been scrapped

‘Major improvements’ to air quality mean there is no need for Leicester’s proposed Clean Air Zone (CAZ), says the council.

In a letter to Leicester City Council, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that the proposed CAZ for buses and taxis is no longer needed. 

In 2018, along with several other local authorities, Leicester City Council was directed by the government to develop a plan that would make the city compliant with EU nitrogen dioxide levels in the shortest possible time. 

At the time, the Government favoured a Clean Air Zone as the most effective way of doing this.

However, the latest annual figures – collected from a network of air quality monitoring stations in 2020 show that Leicester is meeting all current EU air quality objectives. 

According to the council, average levels of NO2 improved significantly at all five monitoring locations across Leicester in 2020 and represent a reduction of around 60%  since 2010, when the highest levels – of up to 80 µg/m3 – were recorded.

people walking on street between commercial buildings

The city council has, however, been awarded over £820,000 of government cash to continue its work to promote walking, cycling and other forms of cleaner, greener transport over the next two years. 

Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on transport and environment, said: ‘The dramatic improvement in air quality is good news for the city and we’re proud to be recognised for the huge efforts we and our partners have put into achieving this.

‘However, we know there is still more to be done and we are doubling down on efforts to remain below EU limits and continue the huge improvements we have seen in recent years.

‘We are developing very ambitious plans to promote travel by bus, bicycle and walking that will help make substantial further improvements to the city’s air quality. These include our new Local Transport Plan and Workplace Parking Levy proposals, and our new Bus Service Improvement plan that was recently submitted to Government.

‘It is vital that we continue to encourage people to make the shift to sustainable transport to help ensure that we make lasting improvements to air quality and achieve our aim of healthier air for Leicester. It is also a key change we can all make in doing our bit to tackle the climate emergency.

We have also just announced a massive investment to increase the city’s electric bus fleet by almost 100 vehicles, as part of ambitious plans to upgrade half of Leicester’s buses fleet to electric by 2025.’



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David Bricknell
David Bricknell
2 years ago

Still probably a long way from complying with World Health Organisation guidelines.

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