Clean air zone to be launched in York in 2020

A clean air zone will be launched in York at the start of 2020.

Senior councillors agreed to plans for the zone last January – and committed £1.64 million of funding to help bus companies make their vehicles more environmentally-friendly.

It means buses running in the city will have to meet minimum emission standards – with most services needing to be ultra-low emission.

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Deputy council leader Coun Andy D’Agorne says in a report for a meeting today that there have been some delays in getting some of the new electric buses.

A clean air zone will be introduced in York in 2020.

His report says: “Our bus-based Clean Air Zone is due to come into effect from next month, although difficulties within the bus industry have delayed the supply of the new double deck electric vehicles which will start appearing in service shortly.

“The first of the single deck buses in the new dark blue livery is in service and I will be watching closely to see how quickly we can achieve 100 per cent low emission vehicles on the Park&Ride service.

Crane to be installed on York's river front as part of £20m Guildhall worksYorkshire restaurant chain Wagyu Bar & Grill closes sites in York and Harrogate“I am also aware of the need to promote evening services more effectively in conjunction with operators (through the quality bus partnership), parish councils and York Bus Forum.”

Bus operator First York has already upgraded part of its fleet with low emissions vehicles – investing £800,000 in eight buses for the Ashley Park – York – Bishopthorpe number 11 service and the Monks Cross – York – Foxwood Lane number 12 service.

Coun D’Agorne will also highlight the anti-idling measures rolled out across York this year.

Drivers who are asked to turn off their vehicles but refuse to do so can now be fined £20 and could be prosecuted if they fail to pay.

Signs have been installed across the city urging people to switch off their engines while parked – to reduce pollution and improve air quality.

Coun D’Agorne said: “I am keen to keep up the anti-idling message for bus stops, coach parks, outside schools, and taxi ranks, both from the perspective of health but also cutting unnecessary burning of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions – to achieve 13 per cent year-on-year reduction to work towards our 2030 target is going to be a real challenge so we should start with quick wins such as turning engines off.”