Press release
Tougher action urged as UK hit by air pollution warning

Commenting on the high air pollution levels spreading across England today (Wednesday 2 April 2014), Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Jenny Bates said:

“Air pollution is a serious problem in the UK, causing thousands of people to die prematurely every year. The Government, Mayor for London and local authorities must take urgent steps to end this national disgrace.

“There’s not much we can do to control dust from the Sahara, but the authorities could and should be doing far more to deal with the UK’s contribution to this air pollution episode, particularly from road traffic emissions.

“We need cleaner vehicles, a serious strategy for tackling traffic levels, including the provision of better public transport and cycling facilities, and an end to plans to build new roads.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1.         29,000 premature deaths a year in the UK are attributable to long-term exposure to particulate air pollution: http://comeap.org.uk/images/stories/Documents/Reports/comeap%20the%20mortalityeffectsoflong-termexposuretoparticulateairpollutionintheuk2010.pdf

2. The EU has recently started legal action against the UK for failure to tackle air pollution:
http://foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/eu-takes-legal-action-over-uk-air-quality_20022014

3. Friends of the Earth briefing on air pollution (May 2013):
https://www.foe.co.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/air-pollution-briefing-21993.doc

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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust