Bradford Council reveals plan to tackle air pollution

Low emission zones, bio-fuels and car-sharing initiatives are just some of the ideas being suggested to tackle pollution in Bradford.

Around one in 20 deaths in Bradford is caused by air pollution, it has been revealed.

Although much of the district enjoys some of the best air quality in the UK, pollution on urban roads exceeds safe levels set by the European Union and traffic fumes are named as the main culprit.

Air quality is particularly bad on Mayo Avenue, Thornton Road, Manningham Lane and the Shipley-Airedale Road, all in Bradford, a new Bradford Council report says.

Diesel fumes are particularly dangerous, with high-risk groups such as truck drivers being 40 per cent more likely to get lung cancer than the average person.

Separately, results of a new international study by The Lancet were revealed yesterday, which showed air pollution was harming, and even killing, people with weak hearts. Experts estimate the toll includes thousands of Britons each year.

The EU is expected to take action against the UK Government for breaching the Air Quality Directive in a number of areas, including West Yorkshire, which has the fourth- highest level of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide in the UK.

Bradford Council fears if the Government is fined for these breaches, these fines could be passed down to local authorities for not doing enough to improve air quality in their areas.

Now the Council has begun a public consultation into the ways it can reduce air pollution. In a new ‘Low Emission Strategy’, it has put forward a number of suggestions, including:

* Considering low emission zones, which only allow buses or HGVs to enter certain areas if they meet green standards.

* Helping bus and freight companies to invest in greener fleets, such as hybrid or electric vehicles.

* Promoting the development of plants producing the vehicle fuel biomethane.

* Applying for grants to fund a network of new charging points for electric cars across the district.

* Supporting the uptake of car clubs and car sharing initiatives.

Councillor Andrew Thornton, executive member for the environment, said: “Transport is now the major contributor to our air quality problems. We are currently having a consultation on low emission strategies which the public can comment on.

“Our objective is to look at all areas of the Council’s activities and see where we are capable of influencing vehicle emissions and reducing them.”

He said the Council was committed to protecting the health of its residents and the new strategy outlined how it hoped to reduce the impact of emissions on public health. The public consultation runs until July 31. To have your say, visit bradford.gov.uk.

via Bradford Council reveals plan to tackle air pollution (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus).

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