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Pollution in York is worse than London: what can be done to clean up our air?

Recent figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that York is one of the most polluted cities in the UK.

The report shows that York’s pollution is on par with northern cities like Leeds and Sheffield, which are industrial hot spots. All of these cities are above the WHO’s recommended limit of air pollution.

However, the most shocking statistic of all is that, at 12 micrograms per cubic metre York is more polluted than the nations capital, London.

The pollution is caused by industry, wood burning and vehicles, especially private cars and buses.

Yorkie reporter Ava Farrally went to to speak to local Green Party Councillors, Denise Craghill and Andy D’Agorne.

Cllr D’Argone, when asked about the associated health risks, replied that it canĀ  “particularly affect vulnerable… [the] elderly, children, people with asthma”.

In order to help combat this issue, which puts the health of residents at risk, the local authority has made plans to implement city wide electric buses by next year.

While York City Council was originally ahead of other authorities in putting forward plans to combat city-wide pollution. However, it has been 5 years since proposals were sent to central government to work towards this, but have been taking longer to implement than was predicted.

Further to this, the York Green Party has been lobbying for a fine for people who are “idleing” within the city boundaries.

This is where drivers who stuck in traffic remain stationary with their engine still running.

Ava Farrally also asked residents what they thought of pollution and the problem of “Idleing”:

Methods of dealing with air pollution have already been put forward to be put in place in other northern cities.

For example, Leeds currently has plans set in place to begin charging HGV’s, buses, coaches and taxis for entering the city, such plans could in place by October this year.