04How can cities respond and solve their local air quality issues?

Ultimately, local policies have to change the behaviour of local firms and residents. There are a variety of approaches and mechanisms cities can use to deliver air quality improvement. These include reducing emissions by promoting public transport, cycling and walking, as well as accelerating the take up of cleaner vehicles.

Box 3: What are UK cities doing?

Cambridge is considering a potential ‘Peak time congestion trial’

Consultation on increasing the cost of using city centre car parks during peak hours. Drivers will instead be encouraged to use park-and-ride sites, which will be free to use during these hours.

Leeds is seeking views on emission charge

Consultation on charging HGV and buses (pre-Euro 6 diesel) £100 per day, taxis and private hire vehicles £12.5 per day within the Outer Ring Road, to be introduced by October 2018.

Sheffield has launched its Clean Air Strategy

Main policies include a bus replacement scheme and anti-idling zones in front of schools. The council will consider charging some larger vehicles including buses, coaches and HGVs for operating in any potential clean air zones.

Oxford is consulting on a Zero Emission Zone

Oxford will roll out a ban on petrol and diesel vehicles across different parts of the city centre. But 45 per cent of the consultation responses have called for the zero emission zone to cover a wider area than just the city centre.

Southampton has set up a scheme to offer cashbacks to taxi owners

Southampton offers cashback for taxi owners to help them replace older, more polluting vehicles, funded by Defra’s Air Quality Grant.