£1.6m to help tackle bus pollution in York

City of York Council is expected to invest £1.6 million in a new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in York to improve exhaust emissions from local bus services.

Working alongside local bus operators to help tackle traffic pollution in York’s city centre, the council proposals went out to consultation last year, with the authority proactively looking to introduce the new zone by 2020, in recognition of the impact that poor air quality can have.

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.

Andrew Waller, executive member for the Environment, said: “I’d like to thank everyone for their feedback. An overwhelming 90 per cent 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 £1.6 million 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.”