Inaction over clean air zones and bottled water cannot continue | Letters
Holly Smith and Jenny Jones on why the government needs to urgently tackle air pollution. Brian Lowry discusses the threat posed by plastic bottles
The government needs to step up and provide clear messaging and leadership on charging clean air zones (Car industry should pay for UK’s toxic air, inquiry says, 15 March). About 40,000 premature deaths a year are attributable to air pollution; inaction simply cannot continue. The government’s own evidence identifies charging clean air zones as the most effective way to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide in the shortest time possible. Despite this, they continue to be presented as a last resort, with little support given to the local authorities that are left to decide whether to implement them. The government should mandate charging clean air zones in areas where legal limits of air pollution are being broken.
Reducing all vehicular traffic in towns and cities is the best way to protect people’s health from the harmful effects of air pollution. Electric vehicles still release fine particulate matter, caused by the wear and tear of tyres and brake pads, which gets into our respiratory system and contributes to early death. Investing revenue from clean air zones in safe walking routes, cycling infrastructure and public transport is the best way to make the UK’s air breathable for us all.
Policy coordinator, Living Streets
Source: Guardian Transport