A Netheredge environmental campaigner is calling for homeowners to reduce the amount of wood they burn in a bid to reduce pollution in the city.
Greg Turnbull has spent years monitoring Sheffield’s air quality using special sensors after installing air quality monitors at Hunter’s Bar Infant School which his children attended.
Mr Turnbull, a telecoms consultant, told ShefLive that he believes instead of introducing the clean air zone, the council should focus on solid fuel combustion.
It comes as the clean air zone regulations were launched two weeks ago in a bid to reduce air pollution in the city centre.
Light and heavy goods vehicles, vans, buses, coaches and taxis have been subject to a Class C charge in Sheffield City Centre and on the ring road. This amounts to £50 per day for larger vehicles, and £10 per day for smaller vehicles.
Mr Turnbull said he was surprised the clean air zone has come into force, adding: “If you looked at the time when the pandemic lockdowns were happening the limit was not breached and it took a long time for traffic to get back to pre pandemic levels.
Mr Turnbull said: “I would have targeted solid fuel combustion before I would have targeted cars because they are more of a problem. I really think we need to focus on how people need to heat their houses.
“I am campaigning for Sheffield council to ban fires on allotments and in parks as well.”
Mr Turnbull also explained why burning wood is so dangerous. He added: “At a national level it is thought that 8% of people use wood burners in their house [and] almost none of them as a primary heat source but that form of heating is responsible for a higher health impact measured by how much it costs the NHS than other forms of heating.
Mr Turnbull encouraged people to use gas central heating rather than wood burners, saying “the impact of burning wood is 100 times worse than other forms of heating. All kinds of chemicals are released when we burn wood that aren’t released when you burn gas.”