Councils 'must tackle killer fumes in the North'

 

A progressive think tank has called on councils to do more to tackle pollution as it warns that ‘killer fumes’ are blighting UK regional cities.

Ahead of the release of the Government’s finalised clean air strategy later this month, a new report from IPPR North has revealed that the UK's regional cities are in breach of the legal limits on air quality by up to 150%.

Gearing up for the transition: The role of transport in a Northern energy strategy warns that while London’s air quality has risen on the political agenda, pollution in the north of England ‘threatens the lives of children and adults’.

Teesside and the North West & Merseyside zones, for example, are the third and fourth regions in the UK with the filthiest air, breaching the legal limit of toxic NO2 concentrations by 150%.

”Local
Newcastle on Tyne, in the North

Around 40,000 deaths per year in the UK are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution, with an estimated overall economic cost in excess of 3.7% of GDP.

The Government has been under pressure to do more to tackle air pollution after the courts ruled previous plans to improve air quality were illegal.

In response to the court ruling, Whitehall published draft plans to introduce - among other measures - compulsory clean air zones in certain cities where targeted action could be taken to improve air quality.

However, Professor David Begg, the former chairman of the Government’s commission for integrated transport, recently said the Government’s plans will ‘fail’ unless they do more to tackle congestion.

In an analysis for the sustainable transport campaign Greener Journeys, Professor Begg found a halving of average city traffic speeds leads to a 50% increase in harmful emissions from larger vehicles as they crawl along busy urban roads.

In nose-to-tail traffic, NOx emissions are four times greater than they are in free flow traffic.

Congestion in the UK’s largest cities is 14% worse than five years ago, Professor Begg’s report found, and traffic speeds are forecast to fall by almost 5mph from 17mph to an average of 12mph by 2030, and significantly slower in peak hours.

IPPR North’s report also identifies congestion as a serious issue in the North. It estimates the cost of congestion in Manchester and Liverpool alone in 2015 at £2bn.

The think tank concludes its report by calling on Whitehall, local authorities and transport bodies to ‘radically improve’ green public transport links, especially rail connections and hydrogen-powered trains.

They should also pledge to phase out diesel cars over the coming years and introduce a new car scrappage scheme, the report says, in part to help spur the electric car market.

On current projections, only 5% of UK cars will be powered by electricity rather than petrol or diesel by 2030.

‘The evidence shows toxic air is killing up to 40,000 children and adults a year,’ said Darren Baxter, researcher at IPPR North.

‘This is one of the biggest problems of our time, but too little attention is paid to this key issue, especially outside the capital.

‘To prevent more avoidable deaths, we need to see big incentives for those buying a car to go electric, funded in part by a tax on the most-polluting vehicles, as well as seeing a real commitment by councils and the department for transport to make clean air a top priority.

‘By taking the killer air crisis seriously, we can prevent many unnecessary deaths and ill-health, especially in our children, while preparing the way for a Northern green jobs revolution.’

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Director of Integrated Transport

Liverpool City Region
Salary up to £124,848
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is embarking on a search for an exceptional individual with the passion to deliver on our vision Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Region

Highways Manager

Oxford Direct Services
G11
Oxford Direct Services
Recuriter: Oxford Direct Services

Data Entry Administrator

Telford & Wrekin Council
£18,795 - £19,171
Telford & Wrekin’s Public Protection Service is looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated Data Entry Administrator Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Transport Planner

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 to £38,423
You’ll have previous experience of working in a transport/planning/accessible transport environment Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
This role will support the Brent Parking Team work to provide administrative support for both the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Engineer (Development)

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer (Development) to provide managerial and technical support. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Traffic Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
We are looking to recruit a Traffic Manager to join our Highways team Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Team Leader x2 - Passenger Transport

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 - £28,215 per annum
You will be responsible for overseeing the duties of Passenger Transport drivers as well as providing support to the service and managers. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

UTMC Engineer

Warrington Borough Council
£31,371 - £34,788
You will support the UTMC Principal Engineer and work as part of a team responsible for all aspects of Urban Traffic Management and Control Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Programme Assurance Manager Public Realm

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £49,203 per annum
A graduate, or have equivalent experience, and you can show evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Trading Standards Officer (Intellectual Property)

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 Per annum
Seeking to recruit highly motivated and experienced Trading Standards Officer’s to join our busy Business and Consumer Services team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Project Manager (LED Project)

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
Seking a knowledgeable and engaging Project Manager to lead, shape and steer a professional engineering service.   Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Principal Planning Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£42,656 to £51,690
We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic Principal Planning Officer within our Development Management Team, based in Richmond.  Twickenham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Programme Technician/Engineer

Norfolk County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
This is a challenging position which involves working across wide ranging activities. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Health and Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£36,630 - £42,490 per annum
The Successful candidate will hold BSc/MSc or Diploma in Environmental Health and be EHRB registered as an... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Safety, Health and Environment Technician Apprentice

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,171 to £19,945
Are you a self-starter, have a willingness to learn and have a proactive approach? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Head of Parking and Traffic Services

Redbridge London Borough Council
Up to £79,000 + benefits
Lead progress in parking Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Senior Environmental Services Strategy and Change Officer

Brent Council
£42,684 - £45,585 p.a. inc.
You will be experienced and skilled at designing and delivering cultural change in a large complex organisation and... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Project Director (Liveable Exeter Garden City)

Exeter City Council
Up to £75,000 per annum
Our goal is to make Exeter a leading sustainable city Exeter, Devon
Recuriter: Exeter City Council

Highway Asset Engineer

Lambeth Council
£38,403 pa rising in annual increments to £41,466 pa incl LW
Lambeth is a vibrant place with a diverse population and an exciting cultural scene. Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council