We support the introduction of a Clear Air Zone. The harmful effects of air pollution on cardiovascular and pulmonary health and cancer risk have been well known for several years 1–3. The introduction of charges in London have reduced air pollution and improved children’s health4. Sheffield’s air pollution levels are currently 20% above the WHO limit5. A Clean Air Zone will help improve Sheffield’s air quality.
Sheffield promotes itself as the ‘Outdoor City’ and one of the greenest cities in Europe. A Clean Air Zone would allow the safe pursuit of outdoor activities and support its green credentials.
We support the inclusion of taxis, buses and goods vehicles. The Clear Air Zone should also include charging the most polluting private cars.
CycleSheffield would support the expansion of the Clean Air Zone to cover other parts of the city which suffer from illegal levels of air pollution, around schools and hospitals, and Sheffield’s arterial roads.
The proceeds from the Clean Air Zone, Congestion Charge Zone and Workplace Parking Levy should be ringfenced for active travel and public transport improvements. This would have positive consequences on the health of the city with ‘healthy life expectancy’ currently at a plateau and obesity at epidemic levels6.
The introduction of a Clean Air Zone is a positive move that will improve air quality and public health, but the measures need to be taken further to maximise the benefits.
1. Peters A, Pope CA 3rd. Cardiopulmonary mortality and air pollution. Lancet 2002; 360: 1184–1185.
2. Clancy L, Goodman P, Sinclair H, et al. Effect of air-pollution control on death rates in Dublin, Ireland: an intervention study. Lancet 2002; 360: 1210–1214.
3. Hoek G, Brunekreef B, Goldbohm S, et al. Association between mortality and indicators of traffic-related air pollution in the Netherlands: a cohort study. Lancet 2002; 360: 1203–1209.
4. Mudway IS, Dundas I, Wood HE, et al. Impact of London’s low emission zone on air quality and children’s respiratory health: a sequential annual cross-sectional study. Lancet Public Health 2019; 4: e28–e40.
5. UK’s most polluted towns and cities revealed. 4 May 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/health-43964341 (4 May 2018, accessed 9 July 2019).
6. Making a Difference strategy, https://www.sth.nhs.uk/futureplans (accessed 9 July 2019).