MORE than £1.6 million will be spent to help make York’s buses more environmentally friendly.

City of York Council executive has been asked to support plans for a new clean air zone for buses running on and inside the inner ring road, starting in January 2020. More than 250 people replied to a consultation on the plans, with 90 per cent of respondents supporting proposals for a bus-based clean air zone. And 91 per cent of people saying they are worried about pollution in the city, with 13 per cent saying they have an illness affected by poor air quality .

The zone will establish a minimum emission standard for buses and companies will be able to continue operating higher-emission vehicles until 2021 if they can prove that they will retro-fit the exhaust or replace the bus with a more environmentally-friendly model.

Cllr Andrew Waller said: “Targeting the buses which most frequently pass through the city centre will have the greatest impact on reducing harmful pollutants by insisting on the use of electric or Euro VI diesel technology.”