Air pollution is killing us. As a GP I welcome this new charge on drivers | Chris Griffiths

Air pollution is killing us. As a GP I welcome this new charge on drivers | Chris Griffiths
From today the most polluting vehicles on London roads will face a ‘toxicity’ fee. It’s a vital first step towards cleaning up the UK’s dangerously dirty air

A report released last week by international experts shows pollution to have caused more deaths in the UK than in many other countries in western Europe. Air pollution is largely invisible, so it is hard to grasp how much damage it is doing to our health. But studies like the Lancet commission on pollution make it clear that poor air quality increases not only the likelihood of developing a range of respiratory illnesses, but also the frequency and severity of bouts of those illnesses.

Like many GPs, I see this “double hit” in the children and adolescents who come to surgery every day. Preschool children who live near main roads have an increased risk of developing wheeze triggered by viral colds – a condition we call “preschool wheeze”. Exposure to traffic pollution also increases the chance of a child developing asthma. For preschool wheezers and children with asthma, high pollution days can then trigger episodes of severe wheezing, especially when pollution has not been dispersed by the wind.

Related: Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens ‘survival of human societies’

Related: Oxford aims for world’s first zero emissions zone with petrol car ban

Air pollution in the UK, and especially London, has been described by many experts as a public health emergency

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Source: Guardian Transport

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London's £10 T-charge comes into effect in fight against toxic car fumes

London's £10 T-charge comes into effect in fight against toxic car fumes

Drivers of older, more polluting petrol and diesel cars in centre of capital now liable for fee on top of congestion charge

Drivers of the most polluting vehicles must from now on pay a daily charge of up to £21.50 to drive in to central London.

From Monday, people driving older, more polluting petrol and diesel vehicles will be liable for the £10 T-charge, on top of the congestion charge of £11.50, which has been in place since 2003.

Related: Government set to face fresh legal challenge over air pollution crisis

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Owning a car will soon be a thing of the past | John Harris

Owning a car will soon be a thing of the past | John Harris
The idea that we will surrender our prized motors can look far-fetched. But as cities clamp down on vehicle use, technology is putting a utopian vision in reach

If ours is an age in which no end of institutions and conventions are being disrupted, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the most basic features of everyday life seems under serious threat. If you are fortunate enough to live in a house with a drive, look outside and you will probably see it: that four-wheeled metal box, which may well be equipped with every technological innovation imaginable, but now shows distinct signs of obsolescence.

Related: The car has a chokehold on Britain. It’s time to free ourselves | George Monbiot

Related: I’m really not a petrolhead… | Victoria Coren Mitchell

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Is Richard Branson’s high-speed train in a pneumatic tube pie in the sky?

Is Richard Branson’s high-speed train in a pneumatic tube pie in the sky?
First airlines, then spaceships. Now the Virgin boss wants to build Hyperloop One – a high-speed, pneumatic maglev railway. But engineering experts doubt that it will ever leave the station

Last week, Richard Branson gave a boost to tech tycoon Elon Musk’s vision of a futuristic transport system. Hyperloop One is the frontrunner among several companies working on plans for magnetically propelled ground shuttles capable of keeping pace with commercial airliners. Branson announced an investment of an undisclosed sum in the company, which took its total funding to £186m.

Musk first outlined his plans, entitled Hyperloop Alpha, in 2013, when he said the system could provide a safer, faster and more convenient mode of long-distance transport than cars and trains, while also being low cost, sustainable, immune to adverse weather and earthquake-resistant.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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'A world where a 12-year-old can cycle safely' is the aim, but minister expects others to deliver

'A world where a 12-year-old can cycle safely' is the aim, but minister expects others to deliver

Jesse Norman wants to make cycling safer, but sees local authorities and charities like Sustran as key facilitators, not government

Jesse Norman, the transport minister whose brief includes cycling, has only been in the job for six months but has already prompted controversy by insisting that cyclists follow the Highway Code, something criticised here on the Bike Blog.

In his office at the Department for Transport in Westminster, he comes across as affable and open – and talks the talk when it comes to bikes for transport.

Related: UK may consider electric vehicle subsidy to increase cycling

Related: A new cycling law won’t make roads safer and could postpone laws that could | Peter Walker

Related: Chris Boardman: riding a bike on UK roads feels too dangerous for me

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Pick-up fees for airport passengers rise at eight out of 20 top UK airports

Pick-up fees for airport passengers rise at eight out of 20 top UK airports

Some increased charges as much as 100% in a year while others introduced new fees, with London Luton the most expensive at £7 for 40 minutes, said RAC

Some of the UK’s busiest airports have sharply increased parking charges for drivers collecting passengers, a study has found.

Related: Flight delays and cancellations: your rights explained

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Source: Guardian Transport

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UK may consider electric vehicle subsidy to increase cycling

UK may consider electric vehicle subsidy to increase cycling

Roads minister Jesse Norman says government could push councils to do more to fight pollution and inactive living

The UK government could potentially consider providing subsidies for electric bicycles and electric cars as part of a concerted policy effort to get more people cycling, the roads minister, Jesse Norman, has said.

With the UK facing health crises from pollution and inactive living, other plans could include using electric cargo bikes to deliver packages from internet retailers rather than vans, Norman told the Guardian.

Related: We want to make our roads safer for everyone – especially cyclists

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Millennial railcard to launch next year offering a third off fares

Millennial railcard to launch next year offering a third off fares

Card for people aged 26-30 is expected to offer benefits similar to the 18-25 railcard but will only be available digitally

A new railcard for people aged 26-30 is to be launched early next year offering a third off most train fares as part of a wider government initiative to offer better deals for hard-pressed millennials.

It is understood that the chancellor, Phillip Hammond, is preparing to unveil a package of giveaways in his November budget aimed at shoring up support among younger voters, who have been among the hardest hit groups since the 2007-08 financial crisis.

Related: GWR takes intercity express trains out of service after PR fiasco

Related: Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income

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Source: Guardian Transport

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‘I’ve been followed, attacked, spat on': women on feeling scared to walk alone

‘I’ve been followed, attacked, spat on': women on feeling scared to walk alone

Our piece examining why women walk less than men led readers around the world to share the experiences that made them think twice about walking where they live and work

A Stanford University study of smartphone data has showed that in almost every country in the world, women walk disproportionately fewer steps each day than men. Intrigued by the findings, Talia Shadwell spoke to women about their walking habits. In those conversations, one issue arose again and again: personal safety. Women felt they could not walk as much as they would freely choose to because of concerns that they would be harassed or worse by men.

In response to Talia’s piece, women from around the world contacted the Guardian to share their stories: the experiences that led them to think twice about walking alone in the neighbourhoods where they live and work.

Related: ‘Paying to stay safe’: why women don’t walk as much as men

Related: Live music acts are mostly male-only. What’s holding women back?

Related: Demoted or dismissed because of your weight? The reality of the size ceiling

Related: The Inequality Project: the Guardian’s in-depth look at our unequal world

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Aslef asks members to bring Southern rail dispute to an end

Aslef asks members to bring Southern rail dispute to an end

Union recommends deal that will allow some trains to run without guards and give drivers 28.5% pay rise over next five years

Drivers on Southern rail could be about to end their dispute after their union recommended a deal that would allow some trains to run without guards and give drivers a 28.5% pay rise over the next five years.

Industrial action has been disrupting the railway since April 2016 but now Aslef, the drivers’ union, will ask its members to vote to end the row.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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