- Sheffield Green Party supports a clean air zone to reduce toxic and illegal levels of air pollution in the city, which is responsible for 500 early deaths every year in Sheffield.
- However, this consultation is a missed opportunity for meaningful change.
- Private cars cause half of all traffic-related pollution. The Council should have included a proposal to charge private cars in this consultation.
- The need for this Clean Air Zone is an admission of failure at national and local government level.
- At the same time, the proposals adversely and disproportionately affect public transport and smaller businesses. More detail of the proposals is needed.
Responding to the Council’s consultation on introducing a Clean Air Zone, Sheffield Green councillor for City Ward, Douglas Johnson, said
“The fact that the council has been forced by Government to look at charging in a clean air zone is an admission of failure. For several years, we have proposed better alternatives such as a workplace parking levy, action to improve public transport and the use of effective planning conditions to reduce pollution-emitting traffic.
“Most pollution hotspots are now in the city centre where residents, shoppers and workers face illegal levels of air pollution.
“However, this is a missed opportunity to engage the public on the reality of air pollution and the actions needed to make our city a more attractive place to live, work and shop. Private cars cause half of all the air pollution from traffic. Consulting the public on a proposal to charge private cars would have been the ideal opportunity to ask how people would tackle this public health crisis.”
Paul Turpin, Green Councillor for Gleadless Valley ward, added,
“Air pollution needs to be tackled because it causes early deaths of 500 people a year in Sheffield and hundreds of thousands of pounds of losses to businesses through staff absence each year.”
Alison Teal, Green Councillor for Nether Edge and Sharrow ward, said:
“Once again we see Sheffield residents disadvantaged by the inertia of this Labour council.. Sheffield needs a first class public transport and active travel infrastructure. We are decades behind other cities. Expanding the ring road while introducing a CAZ shows a complete failure to understand the systemic nature of the Climate emergency we face.”
Sheffield Green Party’s response is at https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2019/08/26/sheffield-green-party-reponse-to-the-clean-air-zone-consultation/