Greens call for urgent action on UK air pollution crisis

Greens call for urgent action on UK air pollution crisis.

Herefordshire’s pollution hotspots in Leominster & Hereford unresolved for over 10 years

The Green Party is calling for decisive and effective action to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis ahead of the delayed publication of the Government’s draft air quality plan [1]. The High Court ruled on Thursday (April 27) that the Government must publish its draft air pollution plan before May 9 [2]

People’s quality of life can be severely affected by pollution-related conditions like asthma, heart disease and bronchitis; and air pollution is linked to 40,000 early deaths every year in the UK.

The A49 corridor through Hereford was declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in November 2001, and Bargates in Leominster was declared in March 2006 – both for exceeding annual limits for Nitrogen Dioxide. [3]

Road traffic is the biggest cause of air pollution: vehicles do need to be made cleaner but reducing the growth in the number of cars on the road is also essential. Cuts to public transport have forced people to switch to using a car even for short journeys.

Diana Toynbee, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Hereford said, “It’s astounding the Government had to be forced in the courts to reveal its plan for tackling air pollution and has squandered taxpayers’ money fighting to keep it a secret.”

“As a rural county most of us in Herefordshire enjoy clean air. Everyone should! But the pollution hotspots in Hereford and Leominster are of great concern, particularly as they were identified as long as 15 years ago. Effective action is long overdue”

“The stark difference between the cost of travelling by car and taking public transport illustrates clearly how little this Government cares about tackling the problem at its root. If we keep pushing people into cars instead of promoting rail and public transport, our air is only going to get dirtier and more dangerous for our children to breathe.”

“The Green Party is the only party committed to taking immediate action on air pollution, with investment in cycling, walking, electric vehicles and public transport. We’d also properly fund and expand the Clean Air Zone network and introduce a Vehicle Excise Duty for new diesel vehicles alongside a diesel scrappage scheme.”

 

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