In order to help tackle air pollution, I know the Government wants to see the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans (including hybrids) ended by 2035. I understand, subject to consultation, that the date could become even sooner if a faster transition proves feasible.
At a local level, the most immediate challenge on air quality is nitrogen dioxide concentrations around roads. I welcome that Ministers have published the UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations, setting out how compliance with existing legal targets can be achieved in the shortest possible time. The plan is supported by a £3.5 billion investment into air quality and cleaner transport and outlines how councils with the worst levels of air pollution at busy road junctions and hotspots must take robust action in the shortest time possible.
To help affected local authorities take immediate steps to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions and meet the Government’s obligations, more than £880 of support has been made available.
Ministers are also supporting areas to develop Clean Air Zones as a means of reducing Nitrogen Dioxide to legal levels by charging older and dirtier vehicles for entering an area.
A first-of-its-kind UK Transport Decarbonisation Plan will be complete this year too. The plan will boost action needed to end the UK’s transport emissions by 2050 and set out an ambitious programme to improve air quality, tackle climate change, and make our towns and cities better places to live.