91% of residents are worried about York air pollution. Will bus ‘clean air zone’ help?

11 Jan 2019 @ 7.56 am
| Environment, Politics, Transport

Almost everyone is concerned about York’s poor air quality.

A survey found that 91 per cent of people saying they are worried about pollution in the city, with 13 per cent saying they have an illness affected by poor air quality.

The same consulation found that nine out of ten of the 250 respondents supported proposals for a bus-based ‘clean air zone’.

Now City of York Council is set to spend more than £1.6 million to do just that – and help make York’s buses more environmentally-friendly.

Reducing harmful pollutants

Cllr Waller standing in front of a hybrid electric bus. Photograph: York Lib Dems

The council executive has been asked to support plans for a new clean air zone for buses running on and inside the inner ring road, starting in January 2020.

The zone will establish a minimum emission standard for buses and companies will be be able to continue operating higher-emission vehicles until 2021 if they can prove that they will retro-fit the exhaust or replace the bus with a more environmentally-friendly model.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for environment, said:

  • We understand the vital role that the city’s local bus services play in bringing people into York to work, shop and make use of key services.

    Targeting the buses which most frequently pass through the city centre will have the greatest impact on reducing harmful pollutants by insisting on the use of electric or Euro VI diesel technology.

A report will be taken to the council’s Executive on 17 January.