Clean Air Zones must take action on cars, campaigners say
Deploying Clean Air Zones (CAZs) that don’t tackle car usage will only have a minimal impact on air pollution.
So says sustainable transport group Greener Journeys as it urges councils not to be ‘lenient’ on cars.
Following last year’s DfT air quality plans, a number of cities are exploring measures to improve air quality, in particular Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton, which were each listed in the December 2015 UK Air Quality Plan as needing to deploy a CAZ by 2020 to ensure compliance with the EU Directive on air quality.
However, official guidance on the implementation of Clean Air Zones directs local councils to target buses as the top priority, followed by HGVs, then vans, with private cars only to be targeted as a last resort.
But Greener Journeys – which is focused on promoting the benefits of bus travel – says these recommendations “will only scrape the surface of Britain’s air quality crisis” as it highlights that diesel cars and vans are responsible for 71% of emissions compared to 6% for buses and coaches. In response, the group has called on the Government to provide clear instructions to local authorities on how to make the biggest impact on air quality, and to ensure that the biggest polluters are targeted as a priority.