UK government's air pollution strategy 'a shambolic mess'

(The Guardian, 12 Nov 2018) Environmental lawyers say reliance on local authorities to take action is not working.

The government’s plan to tackle air pollution in some of the worst affected cities in the UK is unravelling into a “shambolic and piecemeal mess”, according to environmental lawyers.

ClientEarth, which has successfully defeated the government three times in court, said the emphasis on local authorities taking action was backfiring with no joined-up strategy, delays and poorly researched proposals.

Two of the first five authorities tasked with tackling dangerous levels of poisonous air missed their targets. ClientEarth said one authority, Derby, was proposing a scheme that would lead to new traffic lights and traffic-calming measures on one road, the removal of a bike lane and “bus infrastructure”, but little else.

Katie Nield, a ClientEarth lawyer, said Derby’s proposals were “deeply concerning”.

“Their preferred option does not seem to be based on any kind of assessment of the possible impacts on air pollution in the city … from our point of view that is totally inadequate and seems to be creating more space for more cars and little else.”

Derby council declined to comment when approached by the Guardian.


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The Guardian, 12 Nov 2018: UK government's air pollution strategy 'a shambolic mess'