Fewer cars, more cycling and walking and cleaner fuelâ¦
These are just some of the big ideas currently being investigated by Liverpool City Council and its partners in a bid to help us all breathe easier.
As part of an ongoing campaign to improve the health of city dwellers, the council is actively considering a ran
ge of measures to cut the amount of potentially harmful Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) being released into the atmosphere.
The biggest culprit for NO2 emissions in Liverpool is road transport – namely cars, buses, freight and public vehicles.
Last September it was revealed that Liverpool was not on the government’s list of areas with the worst emissions issues. Despite this, the council reaffirmed its commitment to improving air quality by setting up a multi-agency task force.
A report to Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet states: “The City Council’s strategic approach focusses on meaningful long term actions to improve air quality to protect the most vulnerable citizens living or working close to the sources of air pollution.”
Stretches of six of the city’s roads have been identified as having NO2 emissions which exceed the accepted levels. The council is looking at solutions such as changing the pattern of traffic lights to improve vehicle flow, to achieve the accepted levels well in advance of the 2020 target date.
Other elements of the clean air plan include:
Halting the retro-fitting of less environmentally friendly older engines in Hackney Cabs and working with the trade to move to new electric vehicles.
Plans for more than 100 extra Electric Vehicle Charging Points.
Proposals to introduce fines for drivers who keep their engines running while they wait for someone – also known as vehicle idling.
A campaign to encourage more people to switch to greener alternatives like walking or cycling.
In terms of direct action being taken by the city council, the cabinet report states: “The City Council is proposing to radically change its own fleet to make the vehicles which service the city centre diesel free from 2019 and the wider city by 2024.”
Bin lorries will be replaced with cleaner Compressed Natural Gas powered ones and the council is phasing out diesel powered vehicles from its fleet.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Steve Munby, said: “Improving the air quality in Liverpool is one of our key priorities. There is a clear link between pollution and ill health, so it is vital that we do all we can to ensure the wellbeing of future generations.”
“This report outlines a range of measures the council and its partners are considering but everyone has a part to play in reducing air pollution.”
“Whether it is turning your engine off when you are waiting for someone or leaving the car at home and walking or taking the bus, every little bit helps.
“Pollution is everyone’s problem, so we all need to be part of the solution.”
The council’s Cabinet will consider the Air Quality Improvement Measures report at its meeting on Friday April 6.