The Government has today published its draft air quality plan, detailing how it intends to reduce air pollution which causes an estimated 40,000 early deaths per year in the UK. The Government has committed to establishing a Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme and offering further investment in retrofitting alongside additional support for low emission buses.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, the sustainable transport campaign, said:
“It’s time for the Government to show leadership and start taking meaningful action to tackle the appalling quality of air in towns and cities across the UK, which has become a public health emergency. Handing responsibility for all the tough decisions to local authorities will not be sufficient. Government must show leadership.
“Some measures in the Air Quality Plan, such as the Government’s commitment to retrofit technology, are promising. Recent Greener Journeys research shows that fitting clean air filters to older diesel bus engines costs just £12 per kilogram of Nitrogen Oxides saved – 15 times less than a car diesel scrappage scheme – meaning it can achieve the same benefits at a fraction of the price.
“But its failure to take much tougher action on diesel cars and establish further mandatory Clean Air Zones exposes a lack of commitment to tackling air quality. The Government’s analysis must look at per passenger impact on air quality and not just vehicles if it is to properly tackle the cost of air pollution in the UK.”
Notes to Editors:
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About Greener Journeys:
Greener Journeys is a campaign dedicated to encouraging people to make more sustainable travel choices. It is a coalition of the UK’s leading public transport organizations, user groups and supporters. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from transport by encouraging people to switch some of their car journeys to bus or coach instead. Switching from car to bus for just one journey a month would mean one billion fewer car journeys on our roads and would save 2 million tonnes of CO2 every year. For more information visit www.greenerjourneys.com
Image: Kristijonas Dirse