Major poll shows near unanimous support for action on air quality


A major survey by Birmingham City Council has revealed just how seriously the issue of air quality is taken by residents, with near unanimous agreement it must be addressed immediately.

More than 1,100 residents took part in the survey, with 97% stating air quality was either ‘a very or fairly important issue’ and 87% said it needs to be addressed immediately. The poll was carried out via the council's Birmingham Be Heard website.


A further 88% believed the impact of air pollution on health to be 'very serious', while 68% felt the same way about the impact on the environment.

Other key results included:

  • Worrying about its impact on themselves and others (67%), worrying about the burden on the NHS (60%), concerns about climate change (58%)
  • 67% thought air quality was very or fairly important in making travel choices
  • How to tackle air pollution in Birmingham: more people using public transport (75%), more trees/green spaces (70%), restrictions on most polluting vehicles in certain areas of city (68%)
  • Who should take responsibility for tacking city's air pollution: Birmingham City Council (89%), UK Government (82%), members of the public (70%)

Cllr Lisa Trickett, cabinet member with responsibility for air quality at Birmingham City Council said: ‘I am clear that clean air is a basic human right and so it is reassuring to see that so many others share this view, but now we need them to act too.

‘However, cleaning up Birmingham’s air isn’t something we as a council can do alone – we also need the city’s residents and business communities to get on board and work with us, whether this means thinking about the way they travel, the way they do business or simply switching off their car engine when waiting in traffic or at the side of the road.

‘Air quality is a major public health issue that affects us all – and together we can make Birmingham a cleaner, greener place like to live, work and visit. We’ve all got a part to play.’

Birmingham is one of several cities across the UK that has failed to meet EU standards on air pollution and is set to introduce a Clean Air Zone, which will place restrictions on the most polluting vehicles from entering certain parts of the city.

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