Free parking for low-emission cars

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Motorists who drive low emission vehicles will be eligible for a free 12 month parking permit.

The permit allows free parking in the city’s pay and display bays and council run car parks.

To qualify for the permit, vehicles must be recognised by the Department of Transport’s Plug-in Grant Scheme.

The list includes electric powered and hybrid vehicles.

While sales for low emission vehicles doubled in 2015, the transport trend hasn’t really taken off in Leeds.

Coun Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning hopes the initiative will encourage residents to reduce their carbon footprint.

He said: “Transport emissions are one of the biggest contributors to poor air quality.

“It’s important that we provide the conditions and infrastructure that allow people to go green.

“The scheme on its own isn’t going to improve Leeds’ air quality.

As part of a package of measures however, it’s another step in the right direction to improving the environment and people’s health.”

Owners of low emission vehicles will not be exempt from other parking restrictions such as yellow lines and maximum parking stays. Failure to display the permit without paying a parking fee will also result in a parking ticket. The announcement has followed government pressure for ‘clean air zones’ and the threat of financial penalties.