Draft contribution to the Leeds CAZ consultation

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The Leeds CAZ consultation contains three open questions when individuals contribute to the consultation.

Are there any other additional measures you feel the council should be taking to improve air quality?

The council should be considering further provisions now to ensure that Leeds can achieve the air quality targets that have been set. In addition, this should not be seen as the final target, with work focused on improving the air quality levels throughout the 2020’s. The focus should be moving people away from the private car because the electric car will still cause congestion and produce emissions.

Workplace Parking Levy

Leeds City Council should commence work on a workplace parking levy, generating revenue that can be invested into more sustainable transport modes. The measure has been successful in Nottingham creating a strong revenue stream that can be used to invest in long term projects.

Car Club Scheme

The current car club scheme has poor coverage in many parts of Leeds. Pudsey for example has no car club vehicles with the nearest vehicle located at Kirkstall Forge. I advocate that the council releases car parking spaces so that the car club can expand substantially with electric vehicles. I also advocate that the council releases parking spaces for the dockless cycle hire scheme(s) that operate.

Replace 2+ lanes with no car/van lanes

These lanes are challenging to enforce. I would propose that these lanes are switched for no car/van lanes, which will give buses, coaches, HGVs, taxis and private hire access to the lanes. As these vehicles are reducing their emissions or paying these new charges, it is proposed that Leeds CC change the restrictions on the existing 2+ lanes to support certain groups. It may also have the benefit of encouraging PHVs to register as they will be fined if they don’t register and try to use the lanes.

Reporting Scheme

Currently, DVSA are only interested in the smoky exhausts of buses, coaches and HGV’s. Leeds City Council should investigate smoky exhausts from all vehicles and investigate opportunities to improve these smoky exhausts.

If the council prosecutes, it should not be afraid to publish successful prosecutions have taken place.

What further information would assist you with reducing your own contribution to air pollution, if any?

I would welcome further information that can be used to help reduce my emissions and consumption. It would also be useful to see the air quality at sites that are being measured with alerts if they breach air quality limits. When the Slough Road Safety Town was created in the mid fifties, they added a light in the centre of the town that shone red for a week when a traffic fatality occurred. I would like to see lighting poles installed across the city that show the air quality level at a glimpse because the number of lights lit on the pole denotes the air quality and the top light can shine red if the area breaches air quality. The top light can shine yellow when a place in the city breaches air quality. It can shine white when the city meets air quality levels. This is a very public way for helping people to understand.

Do you have any additional comments or suggestions relating to the improvement of air quality in Leeds?

The vehicles that are to be targeted are absolutely essential to transporting thousands of people per day many of whom sit in the lowest income groups. Poor implementation because the government fails to provide sufficient funding should result in a revised plan being adopted rather than adding further increases to fares and goods in shops.

Investment should be focused on sustainable transport modes. For example, any transport investment should not focus on improving the flow of general traffic. Leeds City Council may wish to consider reducing general traffic capacity at certain points to ensure that emission limits are maintained. Potentially this may include the implementation of extended red light times and potentially average speed cameras connected to traffic lights to maintain lower average speeds.

I am concerned that work to improve bus emissions will lead to the existing perverted set up of buses moving towards a stream of red lights being maintained. Smart technology on the buses or at bus stops could release buses on to green phases rather than a red light.

Another challenge is the border of the zone, which I live on. The outer ring road is a logical border. However, I am concerned that whilst the outer ring road will be effective on most occasions, unforeseen road closures caused by road traffic collisions or road works will lead to communities outside of the zone suffering disproportionately when an incident occurs. I would recommend that work is put in place to establish signed diversionary routes, smart road infrastructure, consideration of changing the border of the zone in response to incidents/major roadworks to prevent air quality issues and congestion disproportionately impacting communities outside of the Clean Air Zone such as Gildersome and Pudsey.

Stakeholders should also review bus operations to prevent challenges occurring in the provision of school transport, supported services and services provided commercially by bus operators not based in Leeds. I am very concerned that some routes in west Leeds are at risk including the 508, 670 and X11. These services are provided by other operations of First and their loss will be keenly felt by communities across Leeds.

Planning policies should allow those who build developments near a public transport hub to build accommodation without parking. In addition, the council should be supportive of developments that encourage sustainable travel such as cycle hangers for storing cycles.

Where parking zones are implemented, I would support the discounting of Council Tax for households that don’t have a car.

I am not convinced that Leeds City Council should be involved in a Diesel Car Scrappage scheme. The market is already adjusting towards the new fuel mix and subsidising car owners misses opportunities to invest in other effective options.

I am disappointed that private vans and cars are not to be considered for the Clean Air Zone (CAZ D). I believe that a lower charge should be introduced with charges increasing as the emissions of vehicles improve. In addition, there are opportunities to link vehicles to addresses and families, which can allow for reduced charges

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