New ideas to tackle air pollution in Sheffield

Traditional hackney cabs could be replaced with electric ones to tackle air pollution
Traditional hackney cabs could be replaced with electric ones to tackle air pollution
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Electric taxi cabs and altering red traffic lights are just some of the measures being taken to cut air pollution in Sheffield.

The city is one of 28 local authorities which have been instructed by the Government to tackle poor air quality. Sheffield has received £1.2m to cut nitrogen dioxide levels in the shortest possible time.

The plans include installing more charging points for electric vehicles, encouraging taxi drivers to switch to electric cabs and improving red lights at Abbeydale Road so traffic isn’t waiting as long.

A report to councillors says: “We will implement 12 rapid charging points available for top up charging for electric vehicles. By increasing this provision we expect more electric vehicles purchases in Sheffield instead of diesel or petrol cars, which in turn will reduce pollution.

“Electric Taxi Leasing enables hackney drivers to try electric cab vehicles to help them decide whether there is a business case for them buying one. Electric cabs have significantly lower emissions than the current diesel cabs.

“Signal timing changes on Abbeydale Road will improve the flow of traffic. Less stopping at traffic lights will reduce the build-up of pollution from waiting vehicles.”

The council did look at other options, such as more cycle routes, but said they would not have a direct enough impact on air quality.

The report adds: “The funding will support activity that should have a positive impact on the health outcomes of everyone in the city. It should have a particularly positive impact for the very young and the very old, those with disabilities or long-term health conditions and their carers’, and pregnant women.”

There is currently no funding in the council’s budget once the Government grant has ended.