Improve air quality 'for the sake of our children', residents tell Sheffield council at special meeting

Residents have urged Sheffield City Council's director of public health, Greg Fell, and his colleagues to quickly implement a clean-air plan which could include fining people who idle their engines outside schools
Residents have urged Sheffield City Council's director of public health, Greg Fell, and his colleagues to quickly implement a clean-air plan which could include fining people who idle their engines outside schools
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Sheffield residents are urging the city council to hurriedly implement plans to improve air quality in the city.

A small number of vocal people quizzed council representatives about the quest for cleaner air at a public meeting tonight.

About 30 people at the University of Sheffield’s Diamond building heard the results of an eight-week consultation conducted by the council.

Head of Strategic Transport and Infrastructure, Tim Finnegan-Smith presented the results.

He and director of Public Health, Greg Fell, answered questions from the public.

Those in the room included representatives of the Burngreave Clean Air Campaign and the Sheffield City Centre Residents Action Group.

More than 1,000 people had their say in one of the biggest responses a Sheffield City Council consultation period has had.

Idling engines in ‘risk areas’ like schools, care homes and taxi ranks is a concern for 85 per cent of responders.

Seventy-four per cent were in favour of a scheme to use education and inforcement to tackle the issue.

While they support plans to cut pollution in the city, many at last night’s meeting implored council to act faster for the health of its citizens.

Plans the council adopts won’t be in place for a number of months, as a feasability study is required.

Well-known Darnall doctor, Jack Czauderna, said that wasn’t quick enough.

Dr Czauderna, who takes his grandson to nursery school regularly, is ‘horrified’ by the number of cars and the impact the emissions are having on kids’ health.

“The timelines you’re saying aren’t fast enough for me,” he said.

Roy Morris urged council to educate the public on a fines campaign so the public didn’t think it was to line the council’s coffers.

He said the health of future generations was ‘too important’ for people to mis-understand the point of implementing fines.

“People feel like they’re being picked on,” he said.

“Motorists feel like they’re being picked on.”