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Additional funding to improve York's air quality

City of York Council

1:00pm 25th January 2012

City of York Council has received an additional £19.5k funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to help improve York's air quality.

The council was successfully awarded £68,500 funding through this scheme in April 2011, which is being used to fund a Low Emission Zone feasibility study and to establish an Eco-Stars fleet recognition scheme in the city.

The additional funding has been allocated specifically for the Eco-Stars fleet recognition scheme, which is a voluntary scheme designed to provide recognition, guidance and advice to operators of goods vehicles, buses and coaches.

The aim of a fleet recognition scheme in York is to reduce vehicle emissions, encourage the wider uptake of alternatively fuelled vehicles and raise public awareness about low emission vehicles. 

The scheme will be used aimed initially at buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and the council's fleet, and expanded later to include taxis and other large fleets.  The scheme will introduce an 'advanced' level of recognition for alternatively fuelled vehicles and would investigate the possibility of requiring vehicle ratings to be displayed by vehicles entering a proposed Low Emission Zone.

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for City Strategy, said:

"This is welcome news. We really do need to encourage the use of cleaner vehicles for the future if we're to start cleaning up York's air."

The ongoing Low Emission Zone feasibility study will investigate the potential emission reduction and air quality improvement across York's Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs), achievable through the creation of a city centre low emission zone for buses and coaches.

The results of the study, together with any recommendations for implementation of a low emission zone in the future, will be brought to Cabinet Members towards the end of 2012.

A final draft document of the council's emerging Low Emission Strategy (LES) will be brought before Cabinet in April 2012.  Once approved there will be external consultation with the public and business.

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