York Green Party

Air pollution worsening in York

27 June 2014

Green councillor Andy D'Agorne is calling for scrutiny of the council's actions to cut pollution levels after air quality data was made public this weel.

The latest annual Air Quality Monitoring Report for the City of York highlights worsening levels of pollution on Gillygate and Lawrence St, with the latter exceeding the annual NO2 threshold for the first time since it was declared an Air Quality Management Area in 2002. The annual average pollution levels on Lawrence St were actually worse overall for the year than levels in Gillygate.

The report mentions the Lendal Bridge trial but states that variable weather conditions make it difficult to make relevant year on year comparisons to say whether or not the scheme benefited air quality overall.

While the DEFRA response commends the council for its Air Quality monitoring work, Green councillor Andy D'Agorne is pressing for a council scrutiny into the effectiveness of the CYC Low Emission Strategy adopted as policy in October 2012.

A draft 3rd Air Quality Action Plan setting out the council's approach to reducing dangerous traffic pollution levels will be open for public consultation shortly, prior to submission to the government. Cllr D'Agorne suggests that the cross party scrutiny committee need to explore which measures have had the most impact so far at cutting pollution levels in York before the new action plan is agreed.

Cllr D'Agorne said "It has been estimated that poor air quality results in more premature deaths in York than the combined impact of obesity and road collisions. Yet our only solution so far has been a few electric charging points and sealing the windows of new accommodation fronting onto these fume filled highways."

Greens are also pressing for early implementation of signage requiring bus drivers to switch off while waiting at stops such as Rougier St - a particular pollution hotspot because of the enclosed nature of the area and the concentration of buses. "New electric buses from the Poppleton Bar Park and Ride are a step in the right direction, but this is undermined by the free city centre parking initiative launching this week" said Cllr D'Agorne.

Cut price park and ride plea

Greens 'called in' the free parking initiative for further scrutiny after it emerged that there will be no objective study of its impact on city centre trade and it could lead to greater congestion and pollution on Friday and Saturday mornings. However it will be introduced on selected council car parks from this week.

"Given the council priority to take action on air quality, I am demanding to know what discounts will apply on the park and ride services on Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings. From the perspective of cutting pollution and congestion it is clearly nonsense to offer free parking in the city centre, but charge £2.70 per passenger for those leaving their car outside the city" said Cllr D'Agorne


RSS Feed York Green Party RSS Feed

What have your Green councillors ever done for you?
Donate to your local party
Turn York Green Party Green

Sign up here to receive our monthly updates

We'll mail you about once a month with Green Party news and updates for your area. We'll always keep your details safe, private and secure.

members' site