YEP Says: Do air quality proposals go far enough for Leeds?

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Today your YEP reveals the five city roads which could get tolls in a bid to improve our air quality, if the council goes along with a government proposal.

This comes after a government announcement that new diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution.

On the face of it, this is good news. So, too, is the pledge by Ministers to provide a £255m fund to help councils, such as Leeds, tackle emissions. Tackling the toxic air pollution choking cities like ours has become a political priority given that it’s blamed for cutting short the lives of as many as 40,000 people in the UK every year.

Until now there has been too much delay in deciding how best to tackle pollution problems which the Royal College of Physicians links to cancer, asthma, strokes and heart disease.

The question is do the Government’s proposals go far enough?

There are concerns that the level of investment going into making public transport cleaner is insufficient and the Government still appears to be passing the buck, with local authorities being told to solve pollution on their own streets and make unpopular decisions such as whether these charging zones should be introduced. All of which means we are left with more questions than answers.