York has been monitoring the dangerous levels of air pollution caused by traffic for nearly 20 years. Although there are signs of improvement there are still over 100 people a year dying early because of the pollution and more children suffer asthma and have restricted lung development. Of the UK’s 43 air quality zones, 38 (including York) have failed to meet Nitrogen Dioxide limits stipulated by the EU and are unlikely to do so before 2020.
We therefore call for more urgent action to implement the Air Quality Action Plan immediately, with a ‘clean air zone’ for the city centre which would include priorities such as:
- Targeted enforcement action against drivers parked with their engines running
- Reducing the number of diesel vehicles
- Behavioural change away from private car use