How sustainable travel helps improve air quality!
Nottingham is at the forefront of initiatives aiming to tackle air pollution through smart green transport. Many factors contribute to air quality in the city but transport is one of the biggest polluters. Below is a list of a few things we have been doing to improve air quality – and a few you can do too.
1. Walk and cycle for short trips
Walking short distances has the benefit of improving your health as well. If you need to go a bit further, why not hop on a bike? Nottingham boasts extensive cycle routes, hubs to leave your bike at and a bike hire scheme.
2. Cycle lanes
We have seen a sharp reduction in the amount of air pollution on Castle Boulevard over the last five years. A reduction in cars and over 1,000 cycle journeys a day are helping to improve air quality along this route. We have seen the rate of nitrogen dioxide emissions fall from 40 µg/m3 to 31 µg/m3 – but there is more work still to do.
3. Park & Ride
If you don’t need to drive all the way into the city centre – don’t! Nottingham was the first city to offer all electric park & ride services, and remember parking is free at all of the park and ride sites; you just need to pay for the bus or tram.
Not only are buses an efficient way of moving people, buses also have some of the lowest emissions per person of any other mode of transport.
And they’re only getting greener! The brand new Euro VI diesel, biogas and electric buses on Nottingham’s streets have some of the lowest emissions around. Our city has some of the newest and shiniest buses in the country but even the older models will soon be greener than they seem. The Department for Transport recently awarded us funding to adapt the older diesel double decker buses, which will make them 90% cleaner, and less polluting than a modern diesel car.
5. Pedestrian Zones
It is almost impossible to imagine the Old Market Square as anything other than a pedestrian oasis at the heart of the city – but it’s not so long ago that the streets around it were clogged with traffic. Creating pedestrian friendly spaces not only creates a more desirable environment but also helps to improve air quality in the city centre. When the regeneration of the Broadmarsh area is complete, the area between Nottingham Station and intu Broadmarsh will no longer be dominated by traffic, providing a better experience, environment and road safety, with reduced noise and air pollution for all.
6. A bus lane with a difference
Nottingham is growing and the A612 (Daleside Road) is a major route into the city. High volumes of commuter and other traffic pass along it every day, contributing to the levels of harmful emissions in the city centre. Recently completed works to widen the road hope to address this. Biogas and electric buses already operate along the route so in addition we decided to allow ULEV drivers to share the bus lane, recognising their contribution to cleaner air.
7. Go Ultra Low
Nottingham is leading the way in the uptake of electric vehicles. Thanks to funding from the Office for Ultra Low Emissions our Go Ultra Low programme is working to improve infrastructure and support more people to consider greener options. Making the switch to an electric or other ultra-low emission car is a big decision but you won’t regret it! Although the initial cost can be more in some circumstances, charging is cheaper than fuel and it may work out better in the long term. Why not find out more – and book a test drive – at our Electric Vehicle FestEVal?
8. Sharing is caring
You can save money, network and reduce your carbon footprint simply by sharing a lift. Liftshare is a service which connects you with other people who live and work in Nottingham to save money and have company on your commute.
9. Let’s talk taxis!
The first electric hackney cab to operate outside of London is on the streets of Nottingham, with more coming soon. We’ve also been working with local private hire companies to improve their fleets and make the switch to cleaner vehicles.
10. Cleaning up our clean up vehicles
The city’s first four electric bin lorries will take to the streets later this year, along with ten electric street sweepers. We wouldn’t ask our public transport providers to green their vehicles without looking at our own, and refuse collection lorries are the biggest emitters on our fleet. They spend many hours a day in residential areas and our city centre streets, so making them cleaner and greener is good for us all. More than a quarter of the council’s fleet is already electric.
Happy clean air day! 21 June 2018