The EU have today announced that they have launched legal proceedings against the UK government for its failure to cut Nitrogen Dioxide levels in Birmingham and 15 other cities across the UK.This follows the ruling by the UK Supreme Court in May last which said that the EU could take the government to court for failing to protect its citizens from harmful levels of air pollution.
As we are running our Let’s Get Moving campaign to tackle air pollution through more investment in walking and cycling, and we hope that this move will force local and national government to take action on the issue.
Our Campaigns Support Worker Julien Pritchard said:
“This legal action is a damning indictment of the Government’s failure to tackle dangerous levels of air pollution in Birmingham and other cities across the UK.
“Hopefully this will force the Government to take urgent steps to end a national scandal that causes at least 29,000 people to die prematurely each year because of air pollution.
“However, it is not just the UK Government’s responsibility to tackle air pollution. We also need action locally to cut Birmingham’s traffic levels, which is the main cause of poor air quality.
“If the EU is successful, it could result in the UK being fined, fines which the UK government could pass onto Birmingham City Council
“Continued and sustained investment in active transport would give people a genuine choice to walk or cycle for those 25% of Birmingham’s car journeys which are under 2 miles.
“This would cut air pollution and congestion, and make Birmingham a cleaner, healthier for people to live and work, as well as protecting the City Council from possibly future fines.”