RECESSION and older cars on the roads are helping to prevent air pollution levels in Nottingham from falling enough to meet legal standards, it is claimed.
Although the EU has given the city until January 2015 to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels to legal limits, officials fear that the targets may not be reached in time. The city could be fined if that is the case.
Canning Circus, Upper Parliament Street, Shakespeare Street and Queen’s Road have been highlighted as the city’s most polluted roads.
Richard Taylor, noise and pollution control team leader at Nottingham City Council, said air pollution levels across the country were not falling as fast as expected because the Government had overestimated the take-up of cleaner vehicles such as electric cars.
Recession was also having an impact because it meant fewer motorists could afford to buy newer vehicles with less polluting engines.
“A lot of people are not able to change their vehicles as regularly as they were doing in the past,” said Mr Taylor. “People are not buying electric vehicles as expected and more people are driving vehicles with diesel engines, which emit more NO2 than petrol engines.”