Clean Air For All
This section details the adverse effects of polluted air can have on the health of residents and how Sheffield can combat the growing pollution in the city.
How Can Sheffield Improve it's Air Quality?
Clean air is vitally important for the health of Sheffield residents, as air pollution is linked to a myriad of health concerns, from asthma to cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and even dementia. The council estimates approximately 500 deaths a year in Sheffield are a result of pollutants in the air we breathe.
The main cause of air pollution is emissions from the vehicles we drive – in particular, diesel cars. These emit Nitrogen Dioxide gas, which is linked to health problems in high concentrations, and current levels in Sheffield are in breach of European health standards.
Pathways to cleaner air are similar to those laid out in the fourth objective of this strategy, ‘Modern, Reliable and Clean Journeys for Everyone’, with its aims and methods going hand-in-hand with this one. A modal shift away from cars powered by fossil fuels, towards active travel, sustainable transport, and new low-emission vehicles, will greatly improve air quality for Sheffield residents, making it safe to breathe regardless of where residents live.
The Council aims to work directly with bus companies and taxi companies to switch to cleaner technology, and to work with the government to invest in helping fund these clean vehicles. They will also consider schemes with local residents to help them fund a change to low-emission personal vehicles, particularly where they are needed for work.
The Council also aims to roll out anti-idling zones around schools and other locations sensitive to vehicle emissions. According to research, children exposed to air pollution have been known to have smaller lungs, and can struggle with negative health effects for the rest of their lives.