Letter: Balanced view on zone

May I request The Star cast greater editorial balance over the introduction of the Clean Air Zone on February 27 - alongside other wider measures to make our streets more pleasant and accomodating.
Sheffield Clean Air Zone comes into force on 27th February 2023Sheffield Clean Air Zone comes into force on 27th February 2023
Sheffield Clean Air Zone comes into force on 27th February 2023

While I can understand why a number of Sheffield residents may have fears and concerns regarding the zone's introduction - air pollution is estimated to contribute to – 40 000 deaths annually in the UK alone. I live in Highfield, close to Lowfield Primary, where the Star itself reported had the 'dirtiest' air of any school in Sheffield - exceeding three times WHO limits. Revealed: Sheffield's top 10 polluted primary schools - and the worst one 'should be moved' - The Star. Imagine if one of these deaths was your child, or a child of a close friend.

It's also notable that measures of this type are effective. A new report today, released one year on from the introduction of the London ULEZ shows that levels of harmful pollutants were reduced by 26%. Inner London Ultra Low Emission Zone Expansion One Year Report - London City Hall

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When I search 'Sheffield clean air zone on google' The Star's media coverage is dominantly negative, with headlines written, as I perceive, for clicks and traffic. We all know comes clicks come by provoking negative emotions, which in turn stokes polarisation and division between those with opposite views. sheffield clean air zone - Google Search

As local media, it is your responsibility to present a balanced view on this issue. This will allow local government to engage in helpful dialogue regarding the scheme, as opposed to fuelling a fire where no-one listens and everyone loses.

Surely this would be for the better? The Star could be heralded for its integrity, with a balanced journalistic approach and praised for promoting harmony and understanding.

I would appreciate it if you could consider this position.

Zak Viney

Sheffield, S2