By Adele Lyth
Professionals and politicians will be discussing air pollution in Leeds at a Q&A event next month.
Figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows Leeds has the worst air quality in Yorkshire, with high levels of pollution contributing to a range of health problems including asthma and heart disease.
Leeds City Council is investing £40 million in electric vans over the next two years in a bid to cut down on harmful emissions.
The council is also proposing a Clean Air Charging Zone to be introduced by 2020 and which will charge the worst polluting heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), buses, coaches, taxis and private hire vehicles entering the city.
Light goods vehicles (LGVs) and private vehicles would not be charged.
Councillor James Lewis, executive member with responsibility for sustainability and the environment said: “All of us that live and work in Leeds share a responsibility for improving the quality of the air we breathe.
“That’s why last month, Leeds City Council became one of 16 organisations to sign up to the national ‘Clean Van Commitment’ these new vehicles demonstrate that we are honouring that commitment and, more importantly, that we are doing our bit to reduce our own contribution to air pollution and protect the health of everyone in Leeds.”
People of Leeds suffer from the high levels of air pollution more than most cities in England such as London.
Tracey Thompson,34, said: “The large level of air pollution is very much due to the traffic and congestion due to Leeds being a motorway city.
“It is cheaper and more convenient for people to drive and park than pay for buses or trains.”
Sean O’Brien, 52, from Leeds said: “The air pollution around Yorkshire is unacceptable. People view Yorkshire as a nice country with nice scenery and it’s the pollution that is ruining it.
“Nowadays people are so lazy and use their cars to drive to a shop that is within a five minute walk.”
The Q&A Air Quality event will take place at Leeds Town Hall on 6 November at 6 pm. Doors will open from 5.45 pm. The evening will begin with a discussion by the panel from speakers such as Alex Sobel MP of Leeds North West.
The event is free however register for a place at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/qa-on-air-quality-tickets-51803374287