The government’s Clean Air Strategy 2019 policy paper has been published, detailing the plans to tackle all sources of air pollution.
Published after a public consultation to seek views on a new strategy, the Clean Air Strategy 2019 will help to make air healthier to breathe, protect nature and ultimately boost the economy.
The document sets out what action is needed across all departments of government and society to improve air quality, describing in detail how the nation’s health and the environment will be protected; how clean growth and innovation will be secured; and how emissions will be reduced from transport, homes, farming and industry.
The consultation process revealed broad support for the government’s actions, while the constructive feedback has given all departments the chance to improve and extend their offering even further.
Transport is one industry that has huge focus on improving air quality; given that pollution is behind only cancer, heart disease and obesity as dangers to public health, there is a real need to tackle the problem.
In the Clean Air Strategy 2019, the government reiterate that stringent targets are in place to cut emissions by 2030, with the goal of reducing harm to human health by air pollution by half.
In terms of the transport sector, the immediate challenge is to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides in areas where concentrations of these gases exceed legal limits.
More than £3.5 billion has already been committed to tackle air quality through cleaner road transport, and there is close collaboration between local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, and the government to ensure progress.
The Road to Zero Strategy was released last year, explaining the plans to end sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, and the government plans to reduce emissions from rail – therefore decreasing passenger and worker exposure to air pollution.
And by this spring, the rail sector will outline recommendations and a route map to phase out diesel-only trains by 2040.
It is one of a number of measures, including encouraging the use of the cleanest modes of transport for freight and passengers.