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New report finds local transport is the main contributor to air pollution

9 May 2018

Serious and urgent measures need to be taken by national Government and local authorities to reduce local transport emissions to help improve air pollution, a new report has found.

The report, Air pollution and transport: Time to clear the air? produced by Tracks, a thought leadership programme which aims to promote research and discussion on key transport issues, shows that more needs to be done to reduce emissions from all forms of road transport and suggests how we can have cleaner, greener transport.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport which established the Tracks programme, said:

“This report shows that there are practical and cost effective ways to cut pollution from all types of road traffic but this needs action by the Government not just by local authorities. We need policies to cut the level of road traffic as well as moves towards low emission vehicles.

“We hope this research will inform the Government's forthcoming Clean Air strategy and will help the local authorities currently developing plans for Clean Air Zones". 

The report makes a number of recommendations

  • Retirement of older, more polluting diesel buses, taxis and delivery trucks and bus retrofitting to make them cleaner.
  • Existing policy must ensure the development, purchase and use of less polluting vehicles is continued.
  • The Government should support targeted local car scrappage schemes to get the most polluting vehicles off the road.
  • Local Authorities need to consider reaching an agreement with local bus operators to use less polluting buses on specific routes, scrap older buses and retrofit newer ones.
  • Integrate emissions conditions in licencing agreements for taxis, promote freight consolidation centres to enable the use of electric vehicles for last mile delivery and introduce higher parking charges and permits for high emission diesel cars.


For further information please contact Campaign for Better Transport's communications team on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773 468 or communications@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • Tracks is a dynamic thought leadership programme set up by Campaign for Better Transport to react to contemporary issues in the transport sector. The annual programme comprises four themes linked to current and evolving challenges.
  • Read the Tracks report here - Air pollution and transport: Time to clear the air?
  • 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).