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May 09 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Councils must put green buses at
heart of clean air strategies

The World Health Organisation reports that 46 UK towns and cities are at or exceed air pollution limits.

The data shows areas with fine particulate (PM10 and PM2.5) air pollution at or above 10 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³)

However, in the UK air pollution is falling. In London, levels fell from 17 to 11µg/m³ from 2013 to 2015. In the same period it fell from 17 to 12µg/m³  in Sheffield.

The global report showed major cities such as Manchester, Leeds and London all exceed the recommended levels, with Port Talbot as the worst in the UK.

Responding to the report, Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said “The report shows the dangerous impact that traffic congestion, and the air pollution it causes, are having across the UK.

“If we are going to tackle our air quality crisis, we need to reduce the number of cars on the road.

“We need councils to place green, modern buses at the heart of clean air strategies.

“Greener Journeys research has shown that modern diesel cars produce 10 times more harmful NOx emissions per passenger than modern diesel buses.

“Considering a fully-loaded double-decker bus can take 75 cars off the road, a shift to buses would be a vital step in reducing air pollution in our towns and cities.”

The places affected (with the µg/m³) level in brackets, are Port Talbot (18), Scunthorpe, Salford (both 15), Manchester, Swansea, Gillingham (all 13), Carlisle, Chepstow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Grays, Eccles, Nottingham, Plymouth, York, Prestonpans, Leamington Spa, Sandy, Sheffield, Stoke-On-Trent (all 12), London, Coventry, Hull, Londonderry, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Southend-On-Sea, Stockton-On-Tees, Storrington, Wigan (all 11), Armagh, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Eastbourne, Harlington, Newcastle, Newport, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Saltash, Southampton and Stanford-Le-Hope (all 10)

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