William Eichler 08 February 2018

Official guidance barely ‘scrapes surface’ of air quality crisis

Official guidance barely ‘scrapes surface’ of air quality crisis image

Official air quality guidance directs councils to focus on buses rather than the more serious sources of air pollution, campaigners warn.

Government guidance on the implementation of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) directs local authorities to target older, diesel buses as the top priority, followed by HGVs, then vans, with private cars only to be targeted as a last resort.

However, in an open letter to Whitehall the sustainable transport group, Greener Journeys, has warned this would only ‘scrape the surface of Britain’s air quality crisis’.

Diesel cars and diesel vans produce around 41% and 30% respectively of emissions from road transport. This compares to only 6% from buses and coaches.

Greener Journeys’ letter warned the Government the current guidance for councils on CAZs will fail without more decisive action to curb car use and encourage a shift towards buses and other cleaner modes of transport.

Speaking at the UK Bus Summit today, Claire Haigh, the chief executive of Greener Journeys, will criticise Government action to tackle air pollution, describing its response as ‘slow, piecemeal and not evidence based.’

‘It has taken two High Court Rulings and fearless scrutiny from ClientEarth to ensure the Government takes this crisis seriously. And still, the Government’s plans stop short of meaningful action that will immediately address this public health crisis.

‘Having devolved responsibility, the Government has effectively passed the buck, leaving politically difficult decisions to local councils.’

‘The Government must show leadership and provide clear guidance to local authorities on which vehicles should be targeted as a priority in CAZs, reflecting actual NOx contributions,’ she will add.

‘This means tougher action on diesel cars and vans, and encouraging people to switch to more sustainable transport.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Service Manager - Children in Care

Pembrokeshire County Council
£46,514 - £48,412
The successful candidate will need to be able to manage a large number of competing and at times conflicting priorities, whilst... Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)
Recuriter: Pembrokeshire County Council

Neighbourhood Services Divisional Manager

Northumberland County Council
£60,253
You will provide professional and technical advice on all Neighbourhood Services functions. As an effective leader you will coordinate and manage... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Director - Children’s Services

Wigan Council
Competitive Salary
Currently seeking a new Director of Children’s Services who can deliver our ambition to be an outstanding council for children’s services. Wigan, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Wigan Council

Service Access Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£18,497 - £20,021
As a Service Access Officer you will deal with general and emergency telephone enquiries on behalf of numerous council services, outside of Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Property Services Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31.548 - £33.291
You will be responsible to the ordering manager and will undertake the inspection of properties to specify repairs and improvements within... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue