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Clean up our air to save lives

April 27, 2021 9:13 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Air pollution is an invisible enemy threatening the community spaces we love and the people we care most about.

Our Community Clean Air Fund would let councils and communities invest in the transport systems and options they need.

It kills thousands of people every year and affects the quality of life for all of us.

At the same time, air pollution is threatening our world, with climate change.

After the experience of the pandemic, people want action focused on their community and know that bold action for clean air could bring huge health and environmental benefits - and help kickstart the green recovery and the new jobs we all know are so desperately needed.

Our Community Clean Air Fund would let councils and communities invest in the transport systems and options they need, rather than Whitehall and Westminster dictating what's right.

The Conservatives' failure to act is shown by the fact that the UK regularly breaks legal limits on air quality in so many towns and cities, and yet Conservative Council after Conservative Council are running away from taking action to clean the air for local people.

Liberal Democrats are leading on clean air and the climate.

Conservative Councils and councillors are even voting against local climate emergency plans and blocking new cycling routes.

Liberal Democrat councils are acting and getting things done.

From Lib Dem run Bath Council introducing a clean air zone in the city centre to the Lib Dem Mayor of Watford pioneering new pay-as-you-go bikes, people can see it's the Liberal Democrats leading on clean air and the climate.

Our £20 billion Community Clean Air fund will target all transport emissions affecting local communities and the climate, with emergency 3 year plans to transform people's local transport options, including:

  • New walking and cycling routes (£5.5 billion)
  • New light rail and tram projects (£4.5 billion)
  • Expansion of bus routes - old ones restored and new introduced (£5 billion)
  • Hydrogen bus revolution - to convert bus fleets to hydrogen (£2 billion)
  • New council-led clean air zones for congested towns and cities (£2 billion)
  • Extra electric vehicle charging points (£1 billion)

With air pollution causing 40,000 early deaths a year and transport now the country's biggest source of carbon emissions, our strategy will not only boost to the nation's health, but also tackle the climate emergency too.