With news on: Crewe CNG fuel station; Perth traffic lights; Southwark air pollution petition; carbon vehicle report, and; Camfil indoor air pollution survey
A public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel filling station has been officially opened in Crewe by local MP and education minister Edward Timpson.
The MP for Crewe and Nantwich opened the Weston Road station on March 8 in front of more than 70 attendees, including representatives from vehicle firms including Mercedes Benz, Brit European and Scania.
According to developer of the station, West Midlands firm CNG Services Ltd, CNG is around 30-40% of the cost of diesel fuel, and dual fuel engines can reduce carbon dioxide output by up to 50% through the Gas Certification Scheme. The firm also claims that fleet operators in Crewe can expect to make 30% savings on fuel costs per mile through the use of CNG.
The station is open 24 hours a day and has the capacity to fill more than 500 dual-fuel tractor units per day at both 200 bar and 250 bar.
A CNG spokesperson said: “Fleet operators around the UK are looking to build their own CNG filling stations so that they can take advantage of these cost and CO2 savings. Fleet operators in Crewe have an even more attractive opportunity to take advantage of these savings because they can do so without funding a new filling station. This is why we believe Crewe, with its central location and access to the M6 will become an even more important hub for transport in the UK.â€?
Changes to the operation of traffic lights at a key junction in the centre of Perth, Scotland, have been implemented by Perth & Kinross council in order to improve air quality.
Atholl Street is the area most affected by air pollution in the city, according to the council, and the changes – in effect from March 18 – are intended to improve traffic flow and reduce levels nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter.
The street is in the city centre, which has been designated as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) since 2006 due to the levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter exceeding national air quality standards.
Environment convenor, councillor Alan Grant, said: “The changes are part of a wider package of measures which we are proposing to introduce in the future to influence NO2 and particulate levels in Perth city centre and improve local air quality.
“As the traffic lights at the Atholl Street/Melville Street/North Methven Street junction will be operating in a different way than before, we would advise motorists to take particular care and attention at this location from Monday onwards. Temporary signs will be put in place to advise that the signal priorities have changed.â€?
More information on air quality in Perth is available on the council website.
An online petition urging Southwark borough council to tackle air pollution on main roads near schools in the area will close for signatures next month.
The petitioners are calling on the council to measure pollution levels near affected schools and to help schools take steps to protect children and staff.
So far 85 people have signed the petition, which needs to collect 500 signatures by March 2 for the issue to be discussed at a council cabinet meeting.
The petition states: “After smoking, air pollution is now the leading cause of early death. Young people are particularly vulnerable because their lungs are still developing. It’s estimated that traffic pollution may be responsible for 15-30% of all new cases of asthma in children. Yet there are 48 schools in Southwark within 150 metres of roads that carry over 10,000 vehicles a day. That’s why this petition concentrates on schools.â€?
It adds: “Children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory illness suffer most from air pollution, but we’re all affected. A study commissioned by the Mayor of London estimated that 4,267 Londoners died prematurely in 2008 as a result of long-term exposure to polluted air – mostly through heart attacks and strokes.â€?
More information on the petition is available on the Southwark borough council website.
Low carbon vehicles could in future offer cash savings for drivers, according to a report published by forecaster Cambridge Econometrics and air consultants Ricardo-AEA.
The report was commissioned to analyse the economic impacts of decarbonising light duty vans and cars under the European Commission’s proposed 2020 carbon dioxide regulations.
It showed that a shift to low-carbon vehicles would increase spending on vehicle technology, which would create employment opportunities in the sector, but also potentially add €1,000-€1,100 (£855-£941) to the capital cost of the average new car in 2020.
However, these additional technology costs would be offset by fuel savings of around €400 (£342) per year, according to the report, indicating an effective break-even point for drivers of approximately three years. At the EU level, the cost of running and maintaining the European car fleet would become €33-35 (£28-30) billion lower each year than if no changes were made by 2030.
The report, ‘An Economic Assessment of Low Carbon Vehicles’, focuses on efficient use of fossil fuels in internal combustion and hybrid electric vehicles and is available on the Ricardo-AEA website. A second report on further reducing the use of fossil fuels by also substituting them with domestically produced energy carriers, such as electricity and hydrogen, is due to be published soon.
A national indoor air quality survey for employees in the construction, facilities and building services sectors has been launched by air filtration firm Camfil UK.
The two-minute survey explores general awareness and understanding of indoor air quality in non-domestic buildings and the health implications of air pollution in the workplace.
Camfil’s Swedish subsidiary also received an award this week for building interest and educating the public about poor indoor air quality.
The ‘Stora Inneklimatpriset’ prize was established in 2001 by the web portal Slussen Building Services in cooperation with three professional trade organisations in the Swedish heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industries.