Clean air zone consultation to be extended

Councillors have called for an extension to the clean air zone consultation to allow more people to have a say.

By Molly Williams
Friday, 26 July, 2019, 17:50
The council plan to introduce a Clean Air Zone 2021.

Since the start of July, people have been able to submit comments on plans to introduce daily charges for vans, lorries, buses, coaches and taxis driving in the city centre. For some vehicles the cost could be up to £50 a day.

The consultation is the first step towards Sheffield City Council’s detailed plan, which they hope to implement by 2021.

Currently, the consultation is set to finish on August 25. But the council’s environmental scrutiny committee took issue with the timing and urged them to extend it past the summer holidays.

Tom Finnegan-Smith, head of strategic transport and infrastructure, said they are also hosting sessions with taxi drivers and others impacted by the plans.

Councillor Mohammed Mahroof, representative for Crookes and Crosspool ward, said: “This is one of the most important consultations that we are carrying out and that’s been born by the number of people who are engaging in this chamber and elsewhere.

“The time period is bang in the middle of the holiday season and I think we will be criticised for having a consultation period in that time. The other thing is young people have engaged very heavily in this, especially with students demonstrating on the Town Hall steps.”

Mr Finnegan-Smith agreed the timing was an issue but said the eight week period would be enough time to allow for people to respond to the plans.

However, councillors agreed to have the date extended.

No new date has yet been set. To submit comments on the clean air zone, go to https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/cleanair

The clean air zone has been proposed to tackle air pollution, which reports say contributes to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield.

The council say they hope it will encourage drivers to upgrade their vehicles to more eco-friendly engines, such as Euro 6.