Air quality in Leeds continues to improve


Levels of air pollution in Leeds continue to decline and have not returned to pre-pandemic levels, new air quality data published by Leeds City Council shows.

Changing travel behaviours, a faster than average transition to plug-in vehicles, and major highways improvements are all likely to have contributed to the city’s healthier air.

Each of the city’s six designated Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs)—neighbourhoods previously identified as being unlikely to meet clean air standards—are now compliant with national regulations and continue to improve.

As a result, Leeds City Council has announced that it plans to formally revoke five of the six AQMA designations this year. The council will keep the AQMA at Pool-in-Wharfedale under review for at least another year to be sure that recent improvements are permanent.

The plans to introduce charges in Leeds were ultimately discontinued after the majority of the city’s taxis, buses, coaches, HGVs, and private hire vehicles switched to less polluting models, leading to significant air quality improvements.