The Times has launched a campaign to tackle air pollution with a manifesto which calls for a new Clean Air Act to confer a legal right to clear air for everyone in the UK. The first Clean Air Act, introduced in 1956 in response to the Great London Smog of 1952, was a world first. Britain has since lost its mantle as the world leader on tackling air pollution, we would like to see this changed.
The panel will include:
- Chris Boardman MBE, Olympic gold medalist and Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner
- Dr Rachel Aldred, Reader in Transport at the University of Westminster and teaching on Westminster’s MSc Transport Planning and Management. Rachel also sits on the editorial board of Transport Reviews
- Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport and Deputy Chair of Transport for London
- Nicholas Boys Smith, Director of Create Streets and Chair of the government’s Building Better Building Beautiful Commission
Drastic intervention is required to create environmentally smarter cities. The roads in our cities are overcrowded and poor air quality is killing us with research linking dirty air second only to smoking as a cause of death and illness in Britain. The government estimates that 28,000 to 36,000 deaths in the UK are caused annually by air pollution. A study this year put the figure at closer to 64,000.
Extinction Rebellion recently filled London’s street calling for radical change to the way we embrace our approach to climate change. A new clean air plan published earlier this year, ministers promised to reduce levels of toxic pollution but there is still much more to be done. Like Paris, Madrid and Oslo, we can find alternative approaches and our panel will explore which solutions they feel would be most effective.
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