THE INTRODUCTION of the Clean Air Charging Zone in Leeds is set to be suspended until further notice.

Leeds City Council has asked the government for permission to delay the scheme which was due to come into effect in September.

In a joint statement council leader Cllr Judith Blake and chief executive Tom Riordan pledge their support to the self employed and say: “As a council, we are working hard to further ease the financial difficulties for self-employed people where possible. We have automatically extended all taxi and private hire driver, vehicle and operator licences that are due to expire before the end of June. If we need to, we will extend this further.

“We have also asked the government for permission to delay the implementation of the Clean Air Charging Zone until further notice and we have suspended repayments for taxi and private hire owners who have received an interest-free loan. We are still accepting and continuing to pay grant payments for those vehicle owners switching to cleaner vehicles.”

When the scheme becomes live buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles, taxis and private hire vehicles which fail to meet minimum emissions standards will be charged for driving within the zone’s boundary.