Author Archives: Paula Widdowson

Improving York’s air quality and rebuilding a greener and more sustainable city

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At this year’s Air Quality Day York is proudly leading the way nationally by working to implement ambitious plans across the city to improve York’s air quality and move towards becoming carbon zero by 2030.

Earlier in April new research had revealed that York’s air quality had seen significant improvements during lockdown. This follows a positive long-term trend that has seen carbon emissions decrease by 37% over the last 13 years. Whilst similar reductions in air pollution have taken place across the country, here in York we aim to capture, retain and speed up this trend to aid in the administration’s ambitious plan to become zero carbon by 2030.

We have an ambitious electric vehicle programme for the city, and we are now leading the way nationally with the introduction of the largest zero emission Park & Ride fleet in the country. The 21 new vehicles will see us save 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. This work builds on the £1.6 million investment already made to deliver York’s Clean Air Zone, the first voluntary Clean Air Zone in the UK, as well as our ambition to become the first fully electric bus city.

Whilst York will by no means be the only council aiming to enable a green recovery locally, the crisis has focused our minds on setting in place longer term plans, which would ensure that locally we can rebuild a more sustainable and greener city. This has seen our broader city recovery plans commit to investing in the creation of the next generation of green jobs and the development of the necessary skills to fit the future economy. As a city with two excellent research universities and the most skilled population in the North, we are aiming to take full advantage of our capabilities in bioeconomy and low carbon technologies, which put our city in a unique position to deliver the workforce and facilities to truly build back greener and better.

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