Liverpool to miss 2015 air quality targets

Updated projections by DEFRA show that the Liverpool urban area will fail to comply with air quality targets until at least 2020.

The European Union sets a pollution limit on the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the local environment. It can have a particularly bad effect on existing health conditions such as asthma. Air pollution in the UK causes an estimated 29,000 deaths every year, according to an article in the Guardian.

Cllr Sarah Jennings, Deputy Leader of the opposition Green Party in Liverpool, commented:

“Air quality is fundamental to our quality of life. Liverpool isn’t the only urban area that is going to fail to meet these targets. It’s our city and we have the ability to do better in reducing this form of pollution.”

“The Mayoral experiment on the city’s bus lanes will not have helped. We need to reduce the number of cars on Liverpool’s roads and ensure priority for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. Nearly half of all Liverpool households don’t have access to a car.”

“For male motorists, this particular pollution is especially bad news, as studies have shown that it is not just breathing difficulties that are affected. Male fertility can be affected by increased exposure to NO2.

The Greens have repeatedly criticised the Mayor’s trial removal of the bus lanes and have shown that previous evidence of their success had been ignored. The Mayor now wants to extend the bus lane suspension for another three months. That position will be questioned in public at a meeting of a special Bus Lane Scrutiny Panel next week.

The City Council’s Bus lane Scrutiny Panel is chaired by Green Party leader Cllr John Coyne and will meets at 5pm on Monday 14th July in the Victoria Room of Municipal Buildings, Dale Street.  The meeting is open to the public.  The decision on the bus lane extension will be taken by Cabinet on Friday 18th July.

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