Air-quality

– UPDATE ON OUR MOTION TO FULL COUNCIL

A motion to look at the implications of the new housing on air quality in York from the Green Party wasair-pollution discussed at a scrutiny meeting on Monday 13th February 2017. The motion was originally proposed for the December full council meeting but Conservative and Lib Dem councillors voted for it to be referred to a committee rather than voted on.

Cllr Andy D’Agorne has described this as ‘ducking the issue’ and says he is still waiting for an explanation as to why the administration were afraid of supporting the proposal. “The motion simply stated the facts and called for two actions – for the Executive to take responsibility for considering public health impacts of poor air quality and for the Local Plan Working Group to consider reports on how new development might affect our ability to remove dangerous levels of traffic pollution.”

Thanks to our pressure on this topic so far and support from the Fishergate Ward Committee, the environment protection team at the council state they are already:

  • Reducing emissions from buses through a proposed Clean Air Zone, the Park & Ride contract and retrofitting older buses with newer, cleaner engines
  • Reducing emissions from taxis through incentive grants to switch from diesel to ultra low emission taxis and a low emission taxi policy
  • Reducing emissions from private cars through an extensive electric vehicle charging network
  • Reducing emissions from HGVs through a Eco Stars fleet scheme that provides operators with advice on saving fuel and reducing pollution
  • Reducing emissions from council business by staff using lower emission vehicles and a low emission car club
  • Reducing emissions from development through low emission planning guidance

Last month air pollution levels in London made the news because they were so high the Mayor issued a warning to residents – but we know it’s not only London which suffers awful air pollution.

You can check the level of pollution for where you live here: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/latest/

On a national level, these latest stats come just months after the High Court ruled that the UK Government’s plans to tackle air pollution are illegally inadequate. (see http://www.clientearth.org/major-victory-health-uk-high-court-government-inaction-air-pollution/)

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