The European Commission has announced today that it will refer the UK to the European Court of Justice for its failure to address air pollution. It is one of six countries that has been referred.
Responding to the announcement, Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said:
“Today’s decision by the European Commission is a damning indictment of the Government’s failure to take meaningful action to address the public health emergency caused by air pollution in the UK.
“Having repeatedly dragged its feet over introducing a new network of clean air zones, the Government’s guidance last year directed councils to target buses, which are responsible for the lowest amount of NOx from road transport, as a priority while only penalising vans and private cars, which together contribute more than two thirds of emissions, as a last resort.
“Clean Air Zones cannot possibly succeed without tackling the biggest polluters. Government has repeatedly shied away from taking any decisions which will anger motorists, but it must be braver.
“A fully loaded double decker bus can take 75 cars off the road. The quickest and most effective route to clean air is to include diesel cars and vans in CAZs, and to put cleaner public transport such as buses at the centre of local transport plans.”
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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