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Campaigners urge Government to tackle transport emissions on anniversary of Clean Air Act

5 July 2016 

On the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, which aimed to improve air quality and reduce the number of unnecessary deaths caused by air pollution, Campaign for Better Transport is calling on the Government to abandon its road building programme and instead invest in less polluting forms of transport.

Bridget Fox, Campaign for Better Transport’s Sustainable Transport Campaigner, said: “60 years on from the Clean Air Act we are still in the midst of an air pollution crisis. Tens of thousands of people die every year from the effects of air pollution, and now the biggest threat comes from road transport. The Government urgently needs to abandon its road building programme, which can only worsen air quality, and shift its focus to more sustainable, less polluting forms of transport by providing more investment to programmes like the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy for instance.

“The Government must go further than its woefully inadequate Air Quality Plan, which is still subject to a legal challenge, and not halt its efforts to contribute to European targets on emissions reductions while we still have a part in international negotiations.

“The Mayor of London has shown leadership today in setting out proposals for tackling air pollution in the capital, other politicians could take a leaf out of his book. But even he must carry through his own argument that tough action is needed and match his rhetoric by dropping damaging road tunnel plans, which will only serve to worsen the city's air pollution problem.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Clean Air Act 1956 introduced a number of measures to improve air quality and reduce deaths as a result of air pollution. 
  2. Campaign for Better Transport is one of a number of environmental groups that have written to The Times newspaper calling on the Government to phase out polluting diesel vehicles and properly invest in better public transport and cycling and walking infrastructure as a matter of urgency.
  3. Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, is launching his Air Quality Consultation on Tuesday 5 July at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
  4. Environmental lawyers, ClientEarth, is currently mounting a legal bid to force the Government to put in place a more robust Air Quality Strategy that will bring air pollution within legal limits as soon as possible, rather than by 2025 as the Government wants.
  5. 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).