Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from growing traffic are causing major and long-lasting damage to our health, as well as to our economy.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) reported that exposure to outdoor air pollution is responsible for around 40,000 deaths in the UK each year. Health problems resulting from exposure to air pollution have a high cost to people who suffer from illness and premature death, to our health services and to business, adding up to more than £20 billion annually, calculate the RCP.
We urged the Council in it's consultation to invest in public transport as well as safer streets for walking and cycling, to reduce the burden of charging on the less well off - and those too poor to own cars. Air pollution itself is an equality issue too:
Professor Stephen Holgate, the RCP special adviser on air quality warned that
"Everyone is affected by air pollution, but the effects are felt unevenly with those living in deprived areas likely to encounter higher levels of air pollution, and live learn or work near busy roads".