Leeds Green Party disappointed by Clean Air Zone plans

5 December 2017

Green Party campaigners Natalie Bennett & Chris Foren with congestion on Otley Road

Green Party campaigners Natalie Bennett & Chris Foren with congestion on Otley Road

On the day that Leeds City Council announce their woefully inadequate Clean Air Zone, we ask our MPs to support Green Party Co-Leader Caroline Lucas’s EDM on Air Pollution.

Today is the 65th anniversary of the lethal Great Smog of London, which brought the city to a standstill for four days and during which at least 4,000 people lost their life. We do not want to see this repeated, but air pollution is a public health crisis once again.

193 countries are negotiating a series of resolutions on pollution at the UN. We would like Leeds to be part of the UN Environment's Breathe Life campaign to improve urban air quality; and we call on the Government to stop passing responsibility for tackling air pollution to local authorities and bring in a diesel scrappage scheme without delay.

Chris Bell, Leeds Green Party Policy Officer says,

“The council’s plans are only focussed on reducing NOx emissions with no focus on Particulate Matter. There has been no guarantee that bus and train companies will not raise their fares to compensate for the fines they will face for non-compliance, which does not discourage private car usage. These plans do not go far enough to lower the impact of air pollution on the health of Leeds citizens.”

The Green Party is currently working on a Breathing Cities campaign to improve the air quality of some of the worst polluted areas of the UK, including Leeds. This strategy focuses on increasing walking, cycling and clean, affordable public transport.

Improving the air quality in the region is a key priority for the Green Party in Leeds as it will improve public health and have benefits for the NHS in reducing the pressure on its services. Our transport policies place air quality as a key consideration in its strategy.

Leeds Green Party is the group within the Green Party of England & Wales with responsibility for the parliamentary constituencies of Leeds Central, Leeds East, Leeds North East, Pudsey and Morley & Outwood, and the 20 council wards that make up those constituencies.

For more information about our local policies, visit our policy pages.