Air quality in York shows further improvement

A six-year trend in air pollution reduction means that two of York’s three Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) could be withdrawn in the next two years.

Falling concentrations of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is mainly from traffic, means that it is no longer having a health impact on people in those areas.

City of York Council’s annual air quality status report is being presented to the executive member for environment on 7 August for a decision-making session.

The report shows that the Salisbury Terrace AQMA has had nitrogen dioxide concentrations consistently below the level where it affects health for the last four years, so the AQMA for this area is recommended to be revoked.

The Fulford Road AQMA has been showing that, while average levels of pollutants are continuing to fall across the whole area, one location continues to show higher than permitted levels. Should another year of monitoring levels indicate a continued decline, that AQMA may be recommended to be reduced or revoked in 12 months time.

In the meantime, increased concentrations of NOmonitored on Coppergate could mean that, depending on monitoring data submitted early in 2018, the boundary of the city centre AQMA boundary may need to be amended. However changes in traffic restrictions and buses on this route may be responsible for the change in concentrations.

York’s Low Emission Strategy continues to deliver the air quality improvement measures in York’s third Air Quality Action Plan including:

  • 14% of York’s taxis have converted from diesel to ultra low emission electric hybrids since York’s unique taxi incentives and

    Electric buses have been introduced in York

  • new taxi licensing policy specifying minimum emission standards for new or replacement taxis
  • encouraging residents to walk, cycle and use public transport to beat congestion and pollution through the Local Transport Plan and i-Travel York
  • introducing electric buses on two Park&Ride routes with a third to be delivered via the new Park & Ride contract
  • retrofitting the world’s first electric double-decker sightseeing bus with plans to convert a further five diesel buses to full electric drive
  • City of York Council has been awarded £816,000 from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) after becoming the only Yorkshire location out of eight in the country to achieve ‘Go Ultra Low’ city status. The money will be used to fund a city-wide network of charging hubs
  • implementing a ‘pay as you go’ fast charge public electric vehicle recharging network in addition to 11 publicly accessible rapid chargers across the city. 1,500 charges – including those made by electric buses – are made each month and are rising on a monthly basis.
  • Low Emission Planning guidance requires electric vehicle recharge infrastructure, Construction Environmental Management Plans (CEMPs), and emissions mitigation plans on new building developments.

Idle-Free Zone, Turn Engine Off Sign

We are also currently considering the following air quality improvement measures:

  • reducing emissions from buses by developing a bespoke Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
  • introducing anti-idling measures via signage and a new anti-idling enforcement policy.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment, said: “While our sustained work on combating air pollution has made a significant contribution to improving air quality in York, it’s important to recognise that much still needs to be done.

“Air pollution is associated with a number of adverse health impacts – especially in children and older people – including contributing to the onset of heart disease and cancer and we will continue to work with partners to further improve the air we all breathe in the city.”

The full report can be read at http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=870&MId=10031&Ver=4

Hyper electric vehicle charging points could be installed next year

York joins in first national Clean Air Day

Idle-Free Zone, Turn Engine Off Sign

The UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day (NCAD) on 15 June will see York schools, hospitals, workplaces and communities run events and inspire residents to act for their own health and the health of local children.

City of York Council is backing the day by supporting schools, staff and partners including the University of York, York Hospital Trust and also staff from Amey to take action.

Dr Ruth Purvis from the National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences at the University of York will be visiting Copmanthorpe Primary School to lead an air quality workshop. The children will find out what air is, how it moves and how it becomes polluted. They will share their learning in the school newsletter and will be encouraged to make a clean air pledge.

Cllr Andrew Waller, the council’s executive member for the environment, is been working with Westfield Primary School on clean air and how important it is for children’s health.

Air pollution increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and asthma attacks, as well as being associated with dementia. The health burden of air pollution is unnecessary and NCAD is all about giving everyone the tools and inspiration to reduce pollution now.
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York Council report details air quality improvements for sixth consecutive year

The latest statistics on air quality from City of York Council, gathered by the UK’s most extensive provincial monitoring network, shows improvement across the city, although there are areas still above national targets.car-emissions

Areas with poor air quality include:

  • Gillygate,
  • Holgate,
  • Lawrence Street and
  • George Hudson Street/Rougier Street

The 2015/16 report will be presented to the Executive Member for the Environment at his Decision Session on 5 September.

York has one of the most extensive air quality monitoring networks in the UK outside London monitoring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and other pollutants since 1999, and with NO2-specific monitoring at 340 locations*.Throughout 2015, NO2 concentrations have decreased at most of the monitoring stations in line with a steady downward trend.

In the Air Quality Management  Areas (AQMAs) in the city centre, along Salisbury Terrace and in Fulford, NO2 and particulate matter levels are now fractionally lower than nationally-permitted levels which could remove certain areas of concern.

These lower levels have been achieved through a stream of initiatives driven by the council’s low emission strategies. The most recent Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP3), adopted in December 2015, sets out how York intends to continue to deliver its ambitious and pioneering strategy and to work towards becoming an internationally recognised ultra-low emission city.

The measures undertaken in 2015 to improve air quality include:
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York air quality consultation starts

Residents and other key stakeholders are today being invited to comment on a new draft Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP3) for York.

In March 1915 York Corporation Tramways Department was one of the very first operators in the country to use electric buses and to this day, there are still two relics of this pioneering form of transport in the City – the shelters at Clifton Green and Malton Road Corner, which were built as charging points for the buses

In March 1915 York Corporation Tramways Department was one of the very first operators in the country to use electric buses and to this day, there are still two relics of this pioneering form of transport in the City – the shelters at Clifton Green and Malton Road Corner, which were built as charging points for the buses

The consultation runs from 21 November to 2 January 2015 and provides an opportunity to comment on proposals to further reduce emissions and improve air quality in York during the next five years (2015 -2020).

The draft AQAP can be viewed online at www.york.gov.uk/consultations .

Paper copies will also be available in all York Explore libraries and at West Offices reception.

Support from the government’s Green Bus Fund enabled York to become the first city in the north to introduce a fleet of electric buses to its Park&Ride service and more recently a Cleaner Vehicle Technology Fund (CVTF) grant allowed Transdev to convert one of its tour buses to a fully electric drive train.
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Air quality in York

Lorry smoke

The Council has published some air quality measurement statistics which can be downloaded from here.

The results are from some of the Councils nitrogen dioxide diffusion tube monitors including those located on Leeman Road and Clifton Green.

The results are largely inconclusive and tend to demonstrate that prevailing weather conditions are the main factor influencing air quality.

The Council says that corrected results for 2013 are currently being processed and will be available in April.

The annual average air quality objective set by the Government for nitrogen dioxide is 21ppb

Air quality improving in York ……but

The Council has published its latest data on air quality in York.

The main contaminant – and potential source of health issues – NO2 is reducing overall. However individual street level figures have not been released nor are up to date figures included on the dedicated air quality web site

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The improvement is put down to the increasing number of low emission vehicles being used on York’s roads.

The Council has been encouraging the transfer to low emission cars since 2003 when parking discounts for small vehicles were introduced (ResPark).

This was followed up in 2010 by the trial use of electric and hybrid buses on some routes in the City.

More recently the coalition government has made funding available for the purchase of “all electric” buses. These will be introduced over the next couple of years.

However the fly in the ointment is the recent change to access arrangements in the City centre. The Lendal Bridge trial is already adding significant amounts of traffic onto routes which already have an air quality issue.

Principle amongst these are Leeman Road and Fulford Road.

While Bootham and Gillygate (traditionally a problem street) have also seen changes.

The Council have so far failed to update their initial trial data report on the closure

Even that made no objective assessment of the closure on pollution levels.