City Centre Air Quality Management Area expands as Annual Air Quality Report highlights improvements


York’s city centre Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) has been expanded, after a decision was taken to include Coppergate. This comes after a recent presentation of York’s Annual Air Quality Status Report, which commends the Council’s successful approach to tackling poor air quality.

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In a decision taken by Cllr Waller at his Environment Decision Session yesterday, Coppergate will now be included in the city centre’s AQMA in order to tackle air pollution from diesel vehicles in the area and maintain progress in improving the city’s air quality. Time had been allowed since last year’s decision session on the annual review of Air Quality to see if the enforcement of the bus lane had a positive impact on air pollution levels.

As part of the decision session, it was also decided to retain the Fulford AQMA for a further 12 months, despite NO2 in the area remaining below the Council’s health bases objectives. This is to ensure that Fulford’s air quality is monitored in view of future nearby developments in the city.

At the meeting, Cllr Waller asked for future reports on how the new traffic lights systems and charging points for electric cars especially for people living in terraced areas can be delivered to make further improvements.

The decisions come as the Annual Air Quality Report highlights consistent improvement in York’s air quality, when compared to the previous years. The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) even added that:

‘The Council are taking exceptional steps and effort to actively tackle air quality within the city and the success of this approach is reflected in their results.’

 

Cllr Andrew Waller, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Environment, commented:

“It is good to see that our approach has had such an impact in improving the city’s air quality and that it has been recognised by DEFRA. I would like to thank the officers involved for their hard work in achieving this progress, however, we all accept that more work needs to be done to continue these improvements and ensure that future developments do not reverse our position.”

“The importance of ‘good’ Air Quality cannot be understated and we must continue to maintain these improvements through the use of our AQMA’s. We will continue to monitor in the Salisbury Terrace area”

“There is more public interest in particulates and unlike other authorities, York measures these, so we know the PM10 and PM2.5 levels at hotspots. Particulates will continue to be reported annually with the World Health Organisation and EU guidelines.”

“Looking further down the line, as we work to create the UK’s first voluntary Clean Air Zone, York will continue to lead the line in the fight to tackle poor air quality, with a report coming later this year to the Executive following the public consultation.”

For further information on the AQMA decisions that were made, or for more information on the Air Quality Annual Status Report, please visit: http://democracy.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=10835&x=1.


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