Liverpool Green Party launch policies to tackle shocking Liverpool air quality ahead of 4th May election

Ellas Law Liverpool Green party

Liverpool’s Green Party candidates are shocked by the level of air pollution in the city. Previous measurement of air quality in Liverpool only used very sparse measurements from very few points across the city, and then filled in the gaps quite inaccurately.

This new data set and modelling, conducted by a team at Imperial College and turned into a handy postcode-based tool by Central Office of Public Interest ( then re-mixed by Clean Air Liverpool (, more accurately captures the state of air quality locally in Liverpool, and the results are worse than previously thought.

In many areas of the city, the level of nitrous oxide (NO2), and toxic small and small-medium particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) are many times above the World Health Organisation’s safe limits for these pollutants. Elevated levels of NO2 are linked to damage to the human respiratory tract and increased vulnerability to, and the severity of, respiratory infections and asthma. Particulate matter can deposit in the lungs (with smaller particles travelling deeper into lung tissue) leading to aggravation of asthma, respiratory symptoms, and an increase in hospital admissions with respiratory and cardiovascular health issues, as well as increased mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and from lung cancer.

Air pollution kills anywhere from 28–36,000 people in the UK each year; 16-20 times more than road accidents. It increases incidence of stunted lungs (in children), cancer, strokes, lung disease, obesity, bronchitis, and type 2 diabetes. It was estimated in 2020 that in Liverpool alone, 1,000 people a year are killed by toxic air.

These new revelations about Liverpool’s poor air quality also follow in the wake of the drafting of Ella’s law. Ella Roberta Adoo Kissi Debrah died on 15 February 2013, aged 9, as the result of asthma contributed to by excessive air pollution in London. Ella was the first person in England to have air pollution named as a cause of death by a coroner. The law is called the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill, and would force the government to act to improve air quality up to minimum WHO standards in every community, so people no longer have to breathe air that seriously damages their health. 

Ella’s Law was proposed by Green peer Jenny Jones, gaining cross-party support in the House of Lords and passing its third reading there, before moving on to the Commons in December last year. Liverpool Green Party candidates fully back the introduction of the bill on both a national and local level. Furthermore, in order to combat poor air quality in Liverpool as soon as possible, we would take the actions laid out in the policy statement below.

As well as supporting the introduction of Ella’s law to hold the government to account on air quality standards, if elected Liverpool Green Party candidates resolve to:

1. Reduce the amount of private petrol/diesel-powered car traffic on the roads by campaigning for an integrated and improved transport system including:

  • Introduction of a £1 single-fare on all bus routes
  • Increased numbers of interconnected active travel routes across the city to encourage cycling/scooters/running/walking as modes of transport
  • Bringing derelict Mersey Rail stations such as St James’s back into service
  • Divestment of public transport systems from fossil fuel produced energy, and bringing transport services under democratic control, with a city-wide contract having defined service quality criteria
  • Further installation of charging points for electric cars in areas where residents lack private drives/garages, and consideration of switching from lamp post to kerb chargers in future to increase availability further
  • The introduction of an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in the city centre, with careful consideration that traffic is not just pushed out of the city centre into surrounding suburbs. Ultimate aim of 50% reduction in city centre traffic, and car parking areas being re-zoned as brownfield land for house building over time as required parking capacity is reduced.
  • Consideration of measures such as miniature ULEZs, anti-idling zones, or relocation of pick-up/drop-off zones around schools

2. Reduce the amount of persistent air pollutants from traffic by campaigning for:

  • Mass urban greening along key routes to absorb CO2 and remove particulate matter from the air, and additionally, using specific species of trees/plants which also absorb NO2, one of the major air pollutants in Liverpool
  • Ensuring that all city-centre regeneration projects have urban greening built into them in future, with far more greenery than recent projects such as those outside Lime Street and on the Dock Roads have utilised
  • The reduction of speed limits on key routes from 40 mph to 30 mph, and 30 to 20 mph, where practicable (i.e. where congestion will not increase)

3. Prevent further large-scale introduction of air pollutants by:

  • Supporting expansion of off-shore wind power in the area
  • Opposing expansion of Liverpool John Lennon Airport
  • Opposing expansion of the ferry terminals
  • Opposing expansion of air-polluting industries in Merseyside, and instead encouraging green industries to set up in the area 
  • Opposing plans for a Mersey barrage in their current form