Pollution threatens Yorkshire lives, says special report

Failure to tackle air pollution in Yorkshire is precipitating a public health crisis and poses an imminent risk to the health and lives of people in Yorkshire, a new report reveals.

The report by the Foundation Yorkshire think-tank draws on analysis of nitrogen dioxide pollution published last week in a data audit by Friends of the Earth.

The new research, commissioned by the Yorkshire Party, highlights the extent of NO2 pollution in the region.

Andy Walker: Awful results

Yorkshire Party Environment Spokesperson, Andy Walker, said: “These awful results represent a failure of both central and local government. Conservative and Labour governments have delayed infrastructure investment in Yorkshire and the result is that many areas are missing the target for clean air by a long way.

“What is needed is a series of policies that work together to make clean air the norm.”

Yorkshire is blighted by having five of the top 10 air pollution hot-spots in England, outside London (including all of the top three). South and West Yorkshire are particularly badly affected with instances of NO2 levels at almost two-and-a-half times acceptable limits.

The report draws attention to the link between transport infrastructure investment and air quality: “Idling cars, in locations such as the taxi rank at York Railway Station, Arundel Gate Interchange in Sheffield and Bishopgate Street near Leeds Railway Station, reduce air quality in the surrounding areas.

“The high levels of pollution in the vicinity of railway stations reliant on ageing diesel-powered locomotives act as a further indictment of the continuing delays to rail electrification for both passenger and freight services.”

Foundation Yorkshire is a regional think-tank focused on generating Yorkshire-centred policy and research, being established by the Yorkshire Party

Chris Whitwood: Government failure        Picture:  Robbie MacDonald

The pro-devolution Yorkshire Party will launch its new Environment Policy, next week (March 12, 2019). Deputy Leader Chris Whitwood concluded: “Air quality has a clear link to public health. These findings demonstrate the serious risk that the Westminster Government’s failure to reduce NO2 and other pollutants is putting lives at risk.”

 

Read the full report: Air Pollution, Analysis of Nitrogen Dioxide Pollution in Yorkshire 

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