'Not very joined up': MPs and transport chiefs slam pollution plan

 

Senior politicians and transport experts have criticised the Government’s latest clean air strategy for what they saw as a failure to tackle emissions from transport.

Paula Hewitt, chair of ADEPT’s Environment Board, said: ‘We welcome the Government’s draft strategy and its commitment to new primary legislation, but there must be clear political leadership on the tricky issues, such as charging.

‘Air quality is a national concern; the Government must play its part and provide proactive leadership, not just push responsibility to councils to design local solutions. Tackling air pollution requires a ‘joined up’ approach that crosses sectors, professions, and administrative boundaries.'

”Local

ADEPT said it considers that charging Clean Air Zones will have the greatest impact in reducing air pollution in the worst affected areas over the short to medium term.

Ms Hewitt added: ‘Charging drivers of polluting vehicles to drive into areas where air pollution is the biggest threat – including near many urban schools – is badly needed, but will require public understanding as air pollution is not just a technical issue.’

Dr Jon Lamonte, chief executive of Transport for Greater Manchester and Urban Transport Group lead board member for air quality, said: ‘The Government is right to place such a strong emphasis on reducing air pollution.

‘Yet its strategy lacks coherence and a truly joined-up approach on how national Government and city regions can work together to tackle transport’s role in what MPs have called a “national health emergency.

‘Improving poor air quality caused by transport requires a herculean effort, and cities must be given the adequate powers, support and, most crucially, the funding needed to deliver effective local air quality plans.’

Lilian Greenwood MP, chair of the Commons Transport Committee which was one of four committees that took part in a recent super-inquiry on the issue, said: ‘Our recent joint select committee report called for ambitious, co-ordinated, cross-departmental action yet the new draft strategy says virtually nothing about emissions from cars. It’s unclear to me why the strategy to reduce emissions from road transport is not included today and will be published separately. It doesn’t seem very joined-up.

‘Modal shift and active travel hardly get a mention. We need to have cleaner vehicles but we should also encourage different travel choices so we can reduce the total number of vehicles on our roads. Investment in low-emissions buses is welcome but is even better if accompanied by a package of measures that will help people to make the choice to use them rather than their cars. The lack of focus on transport emissions looks complacent.’

‘The Government has rejected a ban on petrol and diesel cars before 2040. It seems that today’s announcement lacks the ambition and innovation that is desperately needed to cut vehicle emissions and, more importantly, reduce our reliance on cars. I welcome the Government’s recognition that emissions from diesel trains need to be reduced; but this sits uncomfortably alongside the Government’s cancellation of rail electrification schemes.

‘From a transport point of view, I feel this strategy falls well short of what we recommended in our report.’

Neil Parish, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said: ‘The strategy falls short of what is required. There is a clear need for improved collaboration across Government departments to tackle this national health crisis, but the new strategy offers few concrete proposals on how this will be achieved.

‘The lack of attention paid to improving public transport is particularly troubling, as it is crucial to reduce the need for private vehicles in urban air quality hotspots. I hope that the Government will listen to the consultation responses and publish a more ambitious set of measures as soon as possible.’

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

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
£148,583
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Head of Programme Management Office

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
As the Head of PMO, you will define and maintain standards for project management within the Highways Service. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Highways Development Specialist

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
Seeking a highly capable strategic leader to join the team to develop our strategic pipeline of works and financial model. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£214 per week
Are you looking to gain vital work experience as an Apprentice? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Assistant Planner/Planner

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £32,878
The ideal candidate will already have... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
The successful candidate will... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety) & Environmental Health Technical Officer

Dacorum Borough Council
£24,710 to £39,034
You will be highly motivated and be expected to deliver against a challenging work plan. London (Greater)
Recuriter: Dacorum Borough Council

Director of Inclusive Growth and Public Sector Reform

West Midlands Combined Authority
£110,000
The role requires someone with a talent for innovation and a passion for designing and implementing public services. West Midlands Region
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Director of Public Health

Worcestershire County Council
Competitive Salary
We’ll look to you to take responsibility for the high-calibre delivery of... Worcestershire
Recuriter: Worcestershire County Council

Street Cleansing Operative Driver (Large Goods Vehicles)

Redbridge London Borough Council
£22,377 to £23,607
We are looking to recruit staff for both our day service and evening service. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Street Works Officer

Enfield London Borough Council
£29,766 to £30,708
he Network Coordination Team are looking for an enthusiastic self-motivated person to join its Street Works Team. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Traffic Management Group Manager

Devon County Council
£61,593
This is an exciting time for the Service with the immediate introduction of a new Permit scheme and significant programme of redesign and... Devon
Recuriter: Devon County Council

Senior Technical Officer (Highway Assets & Infrastructure)

Newport City Council
£30,507 - £33,799 pa
The post holder will report directly to the Assets and Infrastructure Team Manager and will provide a technical lead on... Newport (Casnewydd)
Recuriter: Newport City Council

Principal Engineer (Highway Safety)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Highways Operations)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Highways Structures)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer (Street Lighting)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £38,813
Are you looking for an opportunity to work as a Principal Engineer, whilst still being able to develop your career and have a good work-life balance? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Legal Officer - Planning and Highways

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£26,999 - £29,636
Kirklees Legal Services is one of the largest legal practices in the area and carries out and commissions legal work required by the Council Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road Safety Engineer / Road Safety Auditor (all levels of experience)

TMS Consultancy
By negotiation
Purpose of the Job Depending on individual experience, candidates will be involved in a range of road safety engineering and traffic management pro... Coventry
Recuriter: TMS Consultancy