Climate change group gather outside Sheffield Town Hall as council seek views on Clean Air Zone plans

Climate change protesters showed their support for a Clean Air Zone in the city as Sheffield Council launched a consultation on the plans.

Monday, 1st July 2019, 16:08 pm
Updated Monday, 1st July 2019, 17:34 pm

Members of Friends of the Earth gathered outside Sheffield Town Hall and while they welcomed the proposals, they did question whether they went far enough to help prevent climate change.

Elaine Souter said: “You've got to go on and on and on for a long time at the council for them to even hear what you've got to say, whether they listen to what you've got to say is another question.”

Richard Souter, Elaine Souter and June Bhooshi outside Sheffield Town Hall

Speaking about the proposals, she said: “I'll believe it when I see it. I want to be more optimistic.”

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Fellow member June Bhooshi said: “I think their hearts are in the right places, just the mechanism is very slow and tedious.

“But we haven't got time now, it's an emergency and they've got to realise it's an emergency and get on with things very very fast.

“If we want people to leave their cars at home, you've got to have cheap and reliable public transport. Electric buses and electric taxis would be fantastic but I appreciate all this costs money and councils are cash-strapped.”

Richard Souter, Elaine Souter and June Bhooshi outside Sheffield Town Hall.

Richard Souter, chairman of Sheffield Friends of the Earth, said it wasn't just the city centre which is affected by high levels of pollution.

He said: “Businesses like Meadowhall need to encourage people to travel by tram, by train, by bus, and not use their cars so much.

“The clean air zone that they're talking about won't affect people out near the M1. There needs to be measures which will help them.”

The council said the proposed clean air zone will lead to cleaner air outside of the city and vehicles using the road network will be ‘cleaner and greener.’

People can have their say on the online consultation for the next eight weeks at www.sheffield.gov.uk/cleanair