Cardiff Council runs consultation on clean air zones
Fleets and individuals are being urged to have their say on a consultation on clean air plans for Cardiff city that could see a clean air zone deployed.
The council has recently been legally directed by the Welsh government to undertake a feasibility study to identify the option that, in the shortest possible time, will deliver compliance with legal limits for air quality.
It comes after the Welsh Government said it would draw up timetabled air quality plans as it admitted at a High Court hearing that its previous lack of a plan was “unlawful”.
Latest figures from Public Health Wales suggest that the number of deaths per year that can be attributed to poor air quality has increased to over 225 across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The legal direction received from Welsh Government means that by 30 June 2019, Cardiff Council must identify options for delivering compliance with legal limits for nitrogen dioxide in the shortest possible time.
The Transport and Clean Air Green Paper published by the council sets out that a clean air zone could be one solution, provided the benefits of its adoption are shown in feasibility work.
Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Caro Wild said: “A clean air zone is something we might very well need to consider if, as we have been directed, we are to deliver compliance with legal limits for air quality in the shortest possible time. Clean air zones have proven to be an effective way of reducing air pollution in cities across the world, but they all look slightly different – some, such as those in Stuttgart and Berlin ban the most polluting vehicles, whereas London have introduced a Toxicity Charge which targets the most polluting vehicles with a charge. Some clean air zones, like Oxford’s cover the whole city, others focus on specific districts.”
Workplace parking levies, as introduced in Nottingham, also come under focus in the paper.
However, the paper also looks at other areas including realigning the bus service and introducing integrating ticketing along with a zero-carbon bus fleet. Other measures currently being worked on include the Nextbike cycle hire scheme, which launches next month with 50 stations and 500 bikes, and the introduction of more 20mph schemes.
The council is also looking at developing Active Travel Zones in the city centre and in neighbourhoods, and a comprehensive cycle superhighway and primary cycle route network.
And the paper looks at encouraging electric vehicle usage and car clubs.
The council is now encouraging businesses and individuals to take part in the consultation on the paper and their view of how they would be impacted. The consultation closes on 1 July 2018 with findings due in September 2018.
To take part in the consultation, click here.