YEP Says: Tunnel vision over vehicle emissions

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We know it’s silly season, that time of the year when lots of people are on holidays and news stories that maybe wouldn’t get a line in print suddenly appear in papers.

So is the idea of building a tunnel over the M621 to trap fumes from the bumper to bumper cars just a silly season “never going to happen story”?

Highways England plan for “pollution tunnels is certainly scientifically possible. Pollution is certainly a serious issue, and air quality in Leeds is of particular concern. Pollution barriers already exist alongside the M62 over the border near Manchester, and trials have begun.

But coming, as it does, days after the Department for Enviroment, Food and Rural Affairs announced its own plan to crack down on roadside pollution, including a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040 it really looks like the Government is all over the place over vehicle emissions.

Are we really going to invest time and money solving a problem which, in 23 years, wouldn’t be a problem as all these cars would be electric cars? That in itself begs the question where will all the electricity come from to power these cars? Fossil fuels perhaps? If we were truly committed to reducing emissions and congestion we’d be converting a lane of the M621 into a tram route!

Edward Ziff, Chairman and CEO Town Centre Securities, in his Office overlooking Leeds.   18 March 2013.
Picture Bruce Rollinson

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