The Government has today published its draft Clean Air Strategy in which it outlines plans to reduce air pollution from a wide range of sources, including wood burning stoves, ammonia from farms and household products.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
“Whilst we welcome the Government’s commitment to tackling air pollution, we are extremely disappointed that ministers have again made no attempt to tackle the root cause of the UK’s air quality crisis – the number of diesel cars and vans on our roads.
“Diesel cars and vans are the biggest contributors to NOx pollution from road transport, together accounting for 71% of emissions, compared with just 6% for buses and coaches. Yet, the Government has repeatedly refused to take any meaningful action to get people out of their cars and onto buses and other cleaner forms of transport.
“Real-world testing of bus engines shows that the latest generation of clean buses emit 95% fewer NOx emissions than the previous generation and are cleaner than the latest modern diesel cars, despite having 15 to 20 times the capacity.
“With the UK’s towns and cities choked by congestion and air pollution, it’s time that the Government showed proper leadership. We urge the Government to provide clear evidence based guidance to local authorities for the introduction of a network of clean air zones that penalises the drivers of high-polluting vans and cars, and encourages the switch to public transport, walking and cycling. Without tough action to tackle the biggest polluters, the UK has no hope of a cleaner future.”
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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