Sheffield City Region: Mayor Dan Jarvis calls on Government for more help to tackle air pollution problems in regions

South Yorkshire metro mayor Dan Jarvis has called on Government to devolve more power and resources to regions in tackling air pollution.

Monday, 2nd September 2019, 1:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 1:18 pm
Traffic in Sheffield - Sheaf Street.

Mayor Jarvis, who heads up the Sheffield City Region alongside his job as MP for Barnsley Central, has joined 13 other city leaders and metro mayors in calling for the Chancellor to prioritise air pollution in the up and coming Spending Review to ease cash pressures on the NHS.

The 14 mayors and political leaders from South Yorkshire, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton and the West of England Combined Authority have joined forces to call for the Government to support a network of 30 new and existing clean air zones, where the most polluting vehicles are fined.

Sheffield is currently consulting on a clean air zone for the city centre while Rotherham are proposing a number of measures including reducing the speed limit on the Sheffield Parkway to 50mph.

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Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis. Picture: Chris Etchells/The Star

No plans are yet to be announced from either Doncaster or Barnsley councils.

Sheffield and Rotherham are both on a Government blacklist which suggest both council areas are expected to reach illegal limits by 2021.

Air quality pressure group UK100 has said the Government's commitment to the Clean Air Fund is 'far from adequate'.

Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis, said: “Poor air quality has a detrimental effect on people’s health, leading to spiralling costs for our NHS and, ultimately, more premature deaths. It’s crucial that we tackle this head-on.

“That’s why, here in Sheffield City Region, I’m championing active travel with the appointment of my Active Travel Commissioner, Dame Sarah Storey. Together we are working to help more people to walk, cycle or use public transport to travel. Switching to less-polluting forms of transport needs to be the norm, not the exception.

“But regional leaders need more power and resources to make truly transformative changes. We can’t do this alone. That’s why, along with my fellow Metro Mayors and Local Authority leaders we are calling on the Chancellor to support us and tackle this important issue head-on.”