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Public Health England tackles air pollution

12 March 2019

PUBLIC HEALTH England has announced several recommendations to tackle the air pollution in the UK, which is estimated to contribute to between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths every year.

Their recommendations include:

  • Implementing no-idling zones in areas with vulnerable hotspots such as schools, hospitals and care homes,

  • Redesigning cities so people aren't so close to highly polluting roads by, for example, designing wider streets or using hedges to screen against pollutants,

  • Investing more in clean public transport as well as foot and cycle paths,

  • Encouraging uptake of low emission vehicles by setting more ambitious targets for installing electric car charging points,

  • Discouraging highly polluting vehicles from entering populated areas with incentives such as low emission or clean air zones.

Road safety charity, Brake, has welcomed these proposals calling them a step in the right direction to creating safe and healthy streets.

Director of campaigns for Brake, Joshua Harris said, “Road crashes and air pollution are both nationwide epidemics which need tackling as a matter of priority, and we welcome Public Health England’s recommendations. People should be free to move in a safe and healthy way every day and on every journey and this includes ensuring the air they breathe isn’t polluted. Encouraging people to leave their cars at home and walk, cycle or use other means of active travel can have hugely positive health benefits as well as reducing emissions from less car use. Yet people are often deterred from walking or cycling by the danger on our roads and the risk of exposure to excessive pollution. Redesigning our cities is vital to ensure that people can live and travel in a safe and healthy environment, free from harm from traffic and pollution.”