The Government has today published its draft Air Quality Strategy, outlining plans to tackle air pollution hotspots in certain parts of the country such as Southampton.
Air quality has generally improved since over the last few years (toxic nitrogen oxides are down by 20 per cent since 2010) but there are real problem areas and we need to do more to improve air quality and protect public health. That is why:
- The Government is consulting on a car scrappage scheme that will consider how to target support where it is most needed, how to reach the right groups in the right areas and minimise the scope for fraud.
- The Autumn Statement 2016 announced £290 million of funding by 2020-21 would be provided from the National Productivity Investment Fund, to support for low emission buses and taxis, retrofitting and electric charging infrastructure.
Paul Holmes said: “I welcome the Government’s commitment to encourage and support people to do the right thing. Much of this problem was caused by the Labour Government’s policy for people to buy diesel cars, a policy which they now accept is wrong. But Labour’s new approach is to tax ordinary families and motorists for following the advice of their own government.
“I also think the Labour Council in Southampton should recognise that road humps, pinch points and poorly managed traffic lights create congestion and pollution. Designing out and removing such obstructions can improve air quality and improve traffic flow. I don’t think the answer is for Southampton City Council to levy new charges on motorists or charge people with diesel cars more money to park”