People scale measures would cut emissions

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Perhaps the deepest cuts we yet face will arise from inaction on air pollution and its chief cause: vehicle exhaust emissions. The city council’s Air Quality Action Plan Consultation advises us that, in September, the EU Commissioner will look at nitrogen dioxide levels in the UK, will consider our proposed remedies and consider the level of fines to be imposed on the UK Government for non compliance. It is widely expected that fines could amount to hundreds of millions of Euros.

Perhaps the deepest cuts we yet face will arise from inaction on air pollution and its chief cause: vehicle exhaust emissions. The city council’s Air Quality Action Plan Consultation advises us that, in September, the EU Commissioner will look at nitrogen dioxide levels in the UK, will consider our proposed remedies and consider the level of fines to be imposed on the UK Government for non compliance. It is widely expected that fines could amount to hundreds of millions of Euros.

The Localism Bill 2010 proposes to give government the power to require councils to make these payments.

Solutions proposed by the council fail to acknowledge the full range of ‘people scale’ measures we can implement now to help reduce emissions. Small changes to our behaviours need not take us to an alarmist vision of a new Stone Age.

We can shop locally, walk or cycle to school and work and choose public transport. We need to act now to have a joined-up vision on impending and substantial PFI investment in our transport infrastructure that acts in unison with urgent measures needed to clean up the air we breathe.

Richard Ward, independent candidate, Nether Edge