HOW much is a life worth? York, like many other UK cities, has a significant air quality problem, with traffic related nitrogen dioxide concentrations exceeding safe limits.

Nationally, it is estimated that poor air quality accounts for between 29,000 and 50,000 premature deaths, as compared with approximately 26,000 to 33,000 premature deaths from obesity, alcohol-related diseases and road traffic accidents combined. Unlike Germany, the UK has largely failed to tackle the issue, despite an 18-year old EU requirement, which is why the Government now faces a potential £300 million fine.

Moving to electric-engine vehicles is themost effective way of addressing this issue, besides helping to reduce climate changing greenhouse gases.

It’s why we’ve worked with York’s bus operators to identify the case for switching at least 80 per cent of York’s bus fleet to electric engines, helped them to obtain Government funding for 15 new electric buses over the next few months, and are promoting the provision of electric charging points for cars (also with Government funding).

Providing a core electric charging point infrastructure for York residents, businesses and visitors will strengthen people’s confidence to invest in purchasing and using very cheap-to-run electric vehicles.

Coun Dave Merrett, Cabinet member for planning, transport & sustainability, Whitehouse Gardens, York.


• If they can find money for charging points for electric cars in the city what about mobility scooters? Could a similar facility be made available for them as time goes on?

There must be a need as these modes of transport become popular with the disabled community.

Keith Chapman, Custance Walk, York.