AIR pollution levels have dropped in York but two air quality management areas - where the level of pollutants breaches government targets - will remain in place.

A report prepared for City of York Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Cllr Andrew Waller, says nitrogen oxide levels recorded across the city fell between 2016 and 2017. And the level of PM10 particulates recorded at monitoring stations is currently “well within” national air quality targets.

Council officers have outlined their priorities for improving air quality in the city, with plans including rolling out anti-idling measures, an electric vehicle charging network and a clean air zone.

Documents published ahead of Monday’s meeting say one of the council priorities will be the “roll-out of anti-idling measures via signage in key locations,” including finalising enforcement plans. In 2017 the Press reported that the council was considering fining drivers of larger diesel vehicles who left their engines idling while stationary for a significant time.

The documents also highlight plans to deliver an electronic vehicle charging network, including “hyperhubs” with ultra-fast, reliable recharging points.

The city currently has two Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) - spots where the level of nitrogen dioxide breaches health targets - located in the city centre and in Fulford. The report asks the council to extend the city centre zone to include Coppergate, where nitrogen dioxide levels are still higher than the government target.

However, it says the council is considering asking for the Fulford AQMA to be removed because the level of nitrogen dioxide recorded was below the target in 2017.

The report says there has been a downward trend in nitrogen dioxide levels in the city since 2012 but adds: “However, the annual average air quality objective for NO2 is still being breached at a number of locations around the inner ring road (within the city centre AQMA).”

A government target has not yet been set for levels of fine particulates PM2.5, but levels recorded across York in 2017 were within EU target levels of 25 micrograms per cubic metre.