City of York Council has approved a Clean Air Zone report which will force almost all bus operators within the city’s inner ring road to move to Euro VI by 2020.
The CYC Executive dismissed an option which allowed medium-frequency services to remain Euro IV or above until 2020 (see earlier story here) and, under the committee’s recommendation, only low-frequency bus services (five times a day or fewer) will be allowed into the CAZ.
CYC says it is was skeptical about acceptance of its first option, with three tiers of bus frequency progressively moving towards low-emission standards. The report’s authors commented: “While there is no precedent for this option from elsewhere in the UK, officers are confident that this option is achievable.”
The more stringent option apes the Oxford LEZ, which the report’s authors felt ‘could be readily adopted for use in York’ and CYC proposes to review clean air objectives in 2020, and every two years.
At the meeting, Public Protection Manager Mike Southwaite told the committee that air quality problems are due to ‘buses in particular’: “They make a relatively small number of journeys but contribute disproportionately to pollution.”
Cllr Andrew Waller said that he noted comments that the CAZ would ‘pick on buses’: “The trajectory has been to look at buses first because they contribute a significant proportion [of pollution] relative to the number of vehicles.” In the report this is not quantified, though in studies of London’s air quality, 26% of NOx pollution was due to PSVs, and 53% from cars and vans.
CYC is also to clamp down on bus idling, although Cllr Waller admitted that drivers showed “a greater understanding than we thought” and Cllr Ian Collins, of Transport and Planning, said complaints about pollution from York open-top services continue despite all vehicles having achieved Euro VI.
The CYC Executive Committee meeting can be viewed in full at https://youtu.be/KeQ2CKsD1WI