Liverpool city council is installing 100 electric vehicle charging points and plans to pilot an anti-idling scheme in a bid to improve air quality in the city.
Councillors were told this week (7 November) at a meeting of the city’s neighbourhoods select committee that work is underway to identify council car parks, supermarkets, leisure centres and streets in areas such as the Baltic Triangle suitable for charging points.
The council is also working with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to determine the costs of introducing a Clean Air Zone, which is expected to be completed by March 2018.
According to the city council, air pollution contributes to 4% of all deaths in the city and long term exposure contributes to heart diseases and stroke, lung cancer and respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic bronchitis.
The council is already planning to introduce a diesel-free fleet of council vehicles in the city centre by 2019 and across the city by 2024. This would involve the use of electric and compressed and natural gas vehicles for council operations.
12 electric buses were introduced into service in the city region last month, following a £21 investment from Arriva Merseyside (see airqualitynews.com story).
A pilot scheme is also being planned to encourage drivers to switch off idling engines near schools, the council has revealed.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Although the city has made great strides in reducing levels of sulphur dioxide over recent years, pollution from vehicle related emissions such as Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matter is still too high.
“It is not good enough for us to be just below the worst as it still has a direct effect on the health of many residents and creates a huge cost for the NHS, which means it has to be a real priority.
“There is already a lot of good work going on delivered by partners such as Merseytravel, but we can support that by using our influence to deliver changes which will improve air quality.
“By 2025 I want the city to have developed a central heart where walking, cycling, electric vehicles and clean fuels will dominate.â€?