Pollution-busting new clean air strategy plan for Leeds

Senior members of Leeds City Council will discuss proposals for a new strategy to meet global standards for clean air.

By Richard Beecham
Saturday, 17th July 2021, 4:45 am

Proposed new air quality strategy will, the council claims, set stricter targets than national standards, while aiming to reduce emissions from homes, industry, agriculture and transport.

As part of the plans, electric bin lorries, a public bike sharing scheme and better ventilated buildings would all be introduced.

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A statement by Leeds City Council read: “Thanks to a citywide effort to switch to cleaner vehicles, air quality in Leeds has improved significantly in recent years and is now generally cleaner and healthier than many other UK cities.

“However continuing to reduce air pollution levels could save even more lives.

While road transport remains the main source of outdoor air pollution in Leeds, it is not the only one.”

The plans include a commitment to cleaner transport emissions, such as electric bin lorries, extending the popular EV Trials scheme and further improvements to public transport links.

It also states that the council should “promote pollution-free and active ways to travel”, and commits to introducing a public bike share scheme, and to improve the city’s cycling infrastructure.

A requirement to reduce emissions from homes is also included in the plans. and raise awareness of indoor air pollution, such as requiring new developments to be greener and better ventilated, installing energy efficiency measures in existing homes and raising awareness of wood burners and other indoor sources of air pollution.

Coun Helen Hayden (Lab), Leeds City Council’s executive member with responsibility for air quality, said: “Leeds air quality has improved significantly in recent years, thanks to a truly citywide effort, and our city has come a long way since 2015.

““By setting tough but necessary targets to meet the World Health Organisation’s guidelines for air pollution, our new strategy is one of the most ambitious and wide ranging of any local authority.

“Having already beaten the national targets for air quality, this strategy means Leeds is going further and faster than Government to tackle pollution and protect the health of everyone in Leeds.”

The report will be discussed by Leeds City Council’s Executive Board on Wednesday, July 21.

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