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Campaigners welcome ClientEarth High Court air pollution win

2 November 2016

The High Court ruled this morning that the UK Government must put in place a more robust Air Quality Strategy that will bring air pollution within legal limits as soon as possible, rather than by 2020, 2025 for London, as the Government wants.

Bridget Fox, Campaign for Better Transport’s Sustainable Transport Campaigner, said:

“The Government's plans to tackle air pollution have been found to be totally inadequate. There can be no excuses for failing to get air pollution below legal limits and it is time for a new Clean Air Act.

"With all our major cities suffering from dangerous levels of pollution, we need to see much wider use of low emission zones and the exclusion of diesel vehicles from urban areas. Also, new policies are needed to reduce overall traffic levels, more funding for public transport and better promotion of low emission vehicles.

"Current plans to spend £15 billion on expanding major roads will just create more traffic and push more cars and lorries into urban areas. This flies in the face of the court’s decision and must be rethought as a priority for the sake of everyone’s health.”


For further information please contact:

Richard Watkins, Press Officer, at Campaign for Better Transport on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773468 or richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk


  • Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).
  • ClientEarth works to protect the environment through advocacy, litigation and science. We base our strategic decisions on the best research and policy analysis. We act on legal opportunities – whether influencing decision-makers or in court.
  • Along with ClientEarth, Campaign for Better Transport is one of a number of partners of the healthy air campaign.
  • This isn't the first time ClientEarth has taken legal action: last year they won a victory in the Supreme Court to force the Government to act: yet air pollution across the country continues to breach EU legal limits. 
  • The Clean Air Act 1956 introduced a number of measures to improve air quality and reduce deaths as a result of air pollution. 
  • Campaign for Better Transport’s new thought leadership programme, Tracks aim is to react to contemporary issues in the transport sector. The annual programme comprises four themes, linked to current and evolving challenges. Forthcoming research will look at ways to tackle air pollution.