£1.6m to help improve bus emissions in York
City of York Council is set to invest £1.6million in a new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in York, which is aimed at improving exhaust emissions from local bus services.
The council is working alongside local bus operators to help tackle harmful traffic pollution in York’s city centre - mainly caused by diesel vehicles.
The proposals went out to consultation last year and the responses have provided valuable feedback to help shape the future Clean Air Zone.
Unlike other parts of the country where a Clean Air Zone is a mandatory requirement, the council is proactively looking to introduce the new zone by 2020, in recognition of the impact that poor air quality can have.
A report will be taken to Executive on Thursday 17th January outlining the feedback of the consultation, which over 250 residents and businesses responded to, including bus operators.
Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for the Environment at City of York Council, said: “I’d like to thank everyone for their feedback. An overwhelming 90% of those who responded agreed that we should introduce a new Clean Air Zone by 2020.
“We are also really grateful for the feedback and support from bus operators which has helped to shape our thinking. City of York Council has already assisted operators to obtain grants to improve the emissions from the City Sightseeing and Park & Ride buses. We now need to take further steps to reduce emissions from the rest of the local bus fleet. Investing £1.6m will go a great way to tackling this issue, as well as introducing more electric Park & Ride buses across the network in 2019.
“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.”
Cllr Peter Dew, Executive Member for Transport, said: “The council has looked at many ways to improve air quality in the city centre, so we are delighted to be able to earmark £1.6m into working with bus operators to apply the proposed Clean Air Zone to local bus services.
“This consultation was a really crucial part of how we can continue to work with operators to help reduce pollution by 2020-21”.
If the proposals are approved, the CAZ will be introduced from January 2020. A twelve month ‘sunset period’ will be put in place, however, to ensure vehicles not meeting the requirements may continue to be operated, if evidence can be submitted demonstrating that orders have been placed for these vehicles to be replaced or upgraded. Measures will also be put in place from January to tackle bus idling.
If approved at Executive, the recommendations will be taken to Budget Council in February.
Executive takes place on Thursday 17th January from 5.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts
To find out more about the report see https://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=733&MId=10476