Mayors and City leaders from 14 of the largest cities in England and Wales united at the National Clean Air Summit in a call for government to tackle the nation’s growing air quality health crisis.
As city leaders we are committed to playing our part in an ambitious national plan for clean air that prioritises action to reduce road transport emissions, provides new powers to tackle other sources of pollution and creates a framework to support partnerships between local, regional and national Government and its agencies including Highways England and business. This plan must ensure that local action is adequately supported by activity across Government to tackle air pollution and must include:
- A modern Clean Air Act that establishes strong air quality limits linked to WHO recommended guidelines, enforced by an independent statutory body. The Act should also grant local and regional authorities the powers and resources they need, while ensuring action at a national level to tackle all sources of air pollution, including from construction, buildings, transport, wood-burning and maritime sources.
- A targeted national vehicle renewal scheme to replace older polluting vehicles that supports drivers and businesses to change to low emission vehicles and other sustainable forms of transport, taking special care that those on low-incomes and also small businesses are helped to make the shift.
- An enhanced Clean Air Fund open to all towns and cities in England funded by UK Government and motor-vehicle manufacturers, sufficient to support the delivery of Clean Air Zones and provide investment for cleaner buses, taxis and walking, cycling and public transport.
- Support for businesses to innovate clean transport technology and enable the UK to be a global leader in manufacturing low-emission vehicles post-Brexit as part of the Road to Zero Transport, Clean Growth and Industrial Strategies. This should include a commitment to phase out sales of new pure diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2030. To ensure the role out of the vital electric vehicle infrastructure needed to support this, cities should have the power to install charge points at petrol stations and private car parks.