Public Health England (PHE) has published a series of recommendations that will tackle the problem of air pollution caused by vehicles.
The executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care has undertaken the review in order to help improve air quality, giving local and central government the necessary advice to reduce air pollution and therefore improve health.
Central government has published a couple of clean air policy papers to reduce pollution, the fourth biggest threat to public health in the country.
As well as this, the Road to Zero strategy is trying to introduce cleaner and greener vehicle options into the UK market.
This is important because the review from PHE makes a number of recommendations that tie into these policies.
The threat of pollution is the biggest environmental one to people in the UK; statistics show that at least 28,000 deaths each year can be attributed to long term exposure, rising to 36,000 in some cases.
Evidence suggests that air pollution can cause the development of heart disease, strokes, respiratory disease and lung cancer.
Therefore, PHE has made recommendations including the uptake of low emission vehicles, by setting ambitious targets for car charging points, and encouraging low emission fuels and electric cars.
High polluting vehicles should be discouraged from entering populated areas where there are low emission zones.
Elsewhere, the PHE has recommended boosting investment in clean public transport, foot and cycle paths; and the redesigning of cities so that people are moved away from highly polluting roads.
Professor Paul Cosford, Director of Health Protection and Medical Director at PHE, said an element of collaboration is needed to deliver these recommendations.
“We recommend that at a local level, any new policy or programme of work which affects air pollution should aim to deliver an overall benefit to the public’s health.
“So transport and urban planners will need to work together, with others involved in air pollution to ensure that new initiatives have a positive impact.”