York’s Clean Air Zone, the first in the UK, approved as Liberal Democrats push for cleaner air

Approval has been given to establish a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in York, one of the first in the UK, after last night’s meeting of the Executive.

The Clean Air Zone, or CAZ, will focus on emissions from buses in the City centre to improve overall air quality in York. Tonight’s approval also includes a single ultra-low emissions standard for the majority of vehicles operating on local bus services and a commitment to review the environmental impacts of vehicles in the Council’s fleet and other direct purchases from the council.

In addition to reviewing the impacts of vehicles, anti-idling measures are contained within the CAZ to deter drivers who leave their engines idling in the City centre, including potential enforcement options, should they be needed.

Tackling the issue of poor air quality in York is an absolute priority for the Liberal Democrats and with our input, the Clean Air Zone will also seek to recognize and address particulate pollution caused by tyres and break pads – An issue recently highlighted by the Government’s top environment adviser, Professor Frank Kelly.

A consultation will now begin, with an aim to introduce the CAZ by 2020.

Cllr Andrew Waller said:

“I am delighted that the Clean Air Zone has been given Executive approval and work can now begin to significantly reduce poor air quality in the City.

We will be targeting the most frequent buses coming into the City centre, in order to reduce nitrogen dioxide, whilst also looking at ways to build on the work done to reduce emissions from other vehicles.

This is the first Executive report which recognises the issue of particulate matter caused by tyres and break pads, contributing to the increasing public awareness.

The Clean Air Zone will produce a comprehensive plan to reduce pollution in the City centre and provide the basis for York to lead the fight against poor air quality.

It builds on the work done during York’s participation in the first national Clean Air Day, which was held on June 15th last year and promoted sustainable transport and tackling idling engines.

The Liberal Democrats will be involved from day one in the development of a Clean Air Zone for York and, as always, we will continue to champion a better local environment for all.”


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