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Clean Air Zones must be mandatory, MPs told

ClientEarth says the government is failing to show leadership on air pollution

ClientEarth says the government is failing to show leadership on air pollution

MPs on a cross-party inquiry into the UK Government’s air quality plans have been told by environmental lawyers that charging Clean Air Zones must be made mandatory.

Giving evidence to the relaunched inquiry – made up of four select committees – ClientEarth’s clean air lawyer Alan Andrews said the UK government had left local authorities “high and dry” by failing to mandate a national network of clean air zones, which would keep the most polluting vehicles out of the most polluted town and cities.

Andrews outlined the grounds for ClientEarth’s third legal challenge to the Government, including that the latest plan backtracks on previous commitments to order five cities to introduce clean air zones by 2020. He also highlighted that plan does not require any action by Wales to bring down air pollution as quickly as possible.

He added: “Everyone knows that charging clean air zones are the only way to solve the problem of illegal air pollution in our towns and cities and the government needs to mandate them and focus on giving people a helping hand in moving to cleaner forms of transport.”

Andrews also said the Government had missed a “golden opportunity” in yesterday’s Budget to force the motor manufacturers to pay for a scrappage scheme, as Germany had done.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.