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York's air quality


12:01am 22nd May 2012

Up to 163 people die prematurely in York each year due to the impact of our poor air quality.

The council's trying to make it better.

It's just finished a public consultation in to our worst two areas, Fulford and the city centre.

Early this year Cabinet Members approved the draft Low Emission Strategy (LES) consultation (at a Cabinet meeting on 3rd April).

Some of the proposed methods in the LES include:

  • Minimising the volume of vehicles and ensuring only the lowest emission buses, lorries and taxis available can access the areas of the city with the poorest air quality
  • Promoting and incentivising the use of low emission vehicles, particularly those which run on electric, compressed natural gas (CNG), bio-methane  and /or make use of hybrid technologies
  • Investigating freight transhipment and electric vehicle deliveries for the city centre
  • Promoting York as a centre of excellence for low emission technologies, attracting new businesses and industries

The main air pollutant of concern in York is nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The pollutants nitrogen dioxide and particulates (PM) have been linked to lung diseases (asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema), heart conditions and cancer.   There are currently two Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in York (city centre, Fulford) with another to follow on Salisbury Terrace later this month).

The LES is due to be formally adopted in September 2012. 

This will make York the UK's first low emission city, with the first overarching LES.

The LES will be followed by a more detailed air quality action plan (AQAP3), stating exactly how, when and where the low emission measures will be delivered.

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