Government’s air pollution reduction plans are inadequate – only three days left to tell them so

The government have published their plans for reducing air pollution and they’re out for public consultation until this Friday, 6th November.

It’s high time the government got its act together and reduced air pollution, but its plans aren’t up to doing the job and the public consultation is a chance to tell them that they have to come up with a plan that will WORK.

If you haven’t already, please respond to the consultation and tell the government they need to come up with better plans, because they’re simply not going to work.

You can use this online form prepared by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT). If you agree with the points the CBT is making on their form, you can just add your name and email address, and click ‘submit’.

But Anthony Rae, of Calderdale Friends of the Earth, is asking people to add some info about air pollution in their area and the lack of action in tackling it. His suggestions for what to say are below, in the section Adding local info to your consultation response.

Air pollution in Calderdale kills around 180 people a year and the Council’s failing to enforce legal air pollution limits

Air pollution is an issue for Calderdale, which has six areas where air pollution exceeds legal limits. Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health says around 180 people a year in Calderdale die from the effects of air pollution – second only to smoking as the leading cause of death in our area.

One of those areas where air pollution is worse than the legal limit is the A646 that runs through the centre of Hebden Bridge, right along to about the Heptonstall turning circle in Mytholm.

Plain Speaker has been reporting on Calderdale air pollution for years and you can catch up on this info here

Adding local info to your consultation response

Anthony Rae suggests adding something like this:

I know that Calderdale Friends of the Earth have researched the state of air pollution in Calderdale, whether it is compliant with EU standards now and whether it will be in 2020. They say that:

  • The Council’s 2015 air quality progress report shows that is not compliant in many locations and across the Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) in Calderdale; and there is no evidence it will be by 2020.
  • The analysis and modelling underpinning the government’s proposals for West Yorkshire is inadequate and flawed. As just one example most of Calderdale is omitted from the area examined. The West Yorkshire officers say ‘air quality monitoring carried out by the districts indicate discrepancies which contradict the [government] modelled results’ for future compliance.
  • Consequently its forecasts about about when air quality in Calderdale will be fully compliant cannot be trusted; and that’s before account is taken of the discrepancy between the vehicle emissions laboratory tests (upon which the government modelling is based) and what happens in the real world.
  • Like all local authorities, Calderdale Council does not have the necessary powers and resources to tackle air pollution locally so that it will be sorted out by 2020, and this is also demonstrated by the fact that there has been little progress in resolving the problems in the Calderdale AQMAs over the last decade. They must be given all the tools they need to sort local air pollution out now.

For these reasons I do not believe that the government’s proposals are adequate – because they will not ensure that air pollution here will be reduced to below EU standards by 2020 at the latest – and that accordingly they must be revised to provide compliance with certainty.

If you’d like more info, you can email Anthony Rae at ar@anthonyrae.com or read his blogpost

2 thoughts on “Government’s air pollution reduction plans are inadequate – only three days left to tell them so

  1. I have just sent the following email to Calderdale:

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I am writing to find out if Calderdale are planning to do anything about the air pollution caused by diesel cars/lorries in the Upper Valley? I realise we do not have the same volume of traffic as major cities but I have found over the years that the air pollution when I go into town (Todmorden or Hebden Bridge) has become worse over the years – to such an extent that I often find myself having problems breathing.

    I believe this is because of the higher number of vehicles using diesel and us being in a valley. It is impossible to go shopping in the town without having to walk along the main road which, when traffic is bad, is especially polluted.

    I note that London and other cities are planning an extra charge on motorists with cars that emit dangerous pollutants and am wondering whether Calderdale is considering anything similar?

    I have lived in Calderdale (Todmorden) for over 25 years now and have enjoyed living here but, because of the bad quality of air, I am seriously considering relocation to an area which is less polluted.

    Thank you.