Motorists 'could be charged' to use two of South Yorkshire's busiest roads in bid to reduce pollution

Michael Gove.
Michael Gove.

Motorists could be charged to use two of the main roads through South Yorkshire as part of a bid to reduce pollution, it has been reported.

The A630 and the A57 - both of which form the Sheffield Parkway - are among a list of more than 80 A-roads and motorways across the UK which breach nitrogen dioxide emissions and need anti-pollution measures.

A630. Picture: Google

A630. Picture: Google

Other roads in Yorkshire included are the A58, A643, A61, A58M and M621 in Leeds.

A national newspaper revealed the list and added that it forms part of wide-ranging plans set to be announced by environment secretary Michael Gove to cut emissions from vehicles.

Mr Gove will reportedly allow councils to "prevent polluting vehicles using some of these roads at certain times of the day or introducing charging” for driving on certain roads included in the list, but only as a last resort.

He is set to insist that councils first exhaust all other possible options to improve air quality, such as tackling chronic congestion.

Councils would have to scrap the charges once air quality improves.

The move comes as it was revealed that the government is also set to reveal new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution.

Ministers are also set to unveil a £255 million fund to help councils tackle emissions from diesel vehicles, as part of a wider £3 billion package of spending on air quality.

Local measures could reportedly include altering buses and other transport to make them cleaner, changing road layouts, altering features such as speed humps, and re-programming traffic lights to make vehicle-flow smoother.

Campaigners said the measures were promising, but more detail was needed.

They had wanted government-funded and mandated clean air zones, with charges for the most-polluting vehicles to enter areas with high pollution, included in the plans.

After a protracted legal battle, the government was ordered by the courts to produce new plans to tackle illegal levels of harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide.

Judges agreed with environmental campaigners that previous plans were insufficient to meet EU pollution limits.

Ministers had to set out their draft clean air strategy plans in May, and the government is expected to publish its clean air strategy later today before a High Court deadline.