It is a familiar sight to anyone who has to commute into a large city every day; long queues of cars, vans and buses waiting at lights or junctions with their engines running. And while most of us are safe in our cars the likes of cyclists and pedestrians including children are breathing in the possibly toxic fumes from these vehicles.
Three of Britain’s largest metropolises have taken it upon themselves to improve the air quality in their area by considering only allowing vehicles with zero or next to no carbon emissions into the centre of the city. In London the aim is to make the city an ultra low emission zone by 2020, which would set a good precedent to the rest of the country.
Other initiatives include talks with hauliers, taxi and bus companies about stricter emission standards for vehicles in areas where pollution is really a problem. This would mostly result in vehicles being fitted with better particulate filters or possibly to choose greener vehicle options. In fact already in the country’s capital fines can be imposed on drivers if their vehicles do not have this technology fitted.
A good example to follow is that of Stuttgart, in Germany, where the traffic is re-routed when air quality is getting particularly bad on certain days.