Asthma + Lung UK launches new campaign: ‘Putting the brakes on toxic air’

Leading lung charity Asthma + Lung UK, with the support of Impact on Urban Health, have called on the government to invest in cleaner public transport in a report titled: ‘Putting the brakes on toxic air: our transport plan for a greener, fairer future.’ 

The publication of the report comes as Asthma + Lung UK announced the results of a YouGov survey commissioned to investigate the public perceptions on air pollution and their experiences of it.

The survey spoke to 2,058 adults and found that over the previous year, 15% of people with lung conditions believed air pollution was a contributing factor to episodes of breathlessness – as did 6% of people who’d never been diagnosed with such conditions. This figure would suggest there could be as many as 2.3 million people similarly affected across the UK.

The survey also found that the public were very aware of the dangers of air pollution, with 95% believing it can cause asthma attacks, 79% believing that air pollution particles can impact babies in the womb and 86% believing that air pollution can cause lung cancer.

On the other hand, 46% believed that industry, rather than car emissions, was the biggest source of air pollution in the UK.

The survey served as a useful precursor to the publication of ‘Putting the brakes on toxic air’ in which Asthma + Lung UK and Impact on Urban Health urge the government to establish a scheme they refer to as a ‘Cleaner Travel Access Fund’ for people on low incomes or with long-term lung conditions, to switch their polluting vehicles in exchange for a financial grant.

Sarah Woolnough, CEO of Asthma + Lung UK, said:  ’Tackling a problem as fundamental as the air we breathe requires the kind of bold government action that so far has been sadly lacking. Transport is key in the fight for clean air and that’s why we are calling on the government to deliver on our plan to help the poorest communities, whose lives are often most blighted by dirty air, to switch to other cleaner means of transport.

‘More government investment will help give people the financial incentive to make that switch. With more awareness, government action, and the right targeted investment we can apply the emergency brake on air pollution and save countless lives.’

Anna Garrod, Director of Policy and Influencing at Impact on Urban Health, said: ‘Air pollution isn’t just a public health crisis that causes tens of thousands of deaths in the UK every year. Toxic air is also a social justice issue, which most commonly affects those who contribute the least to the problem, including children. 

‘For decades, infrastructure has supported drivers. To save our climate and to protect people from deadly air pollution, now it’s time to support people to travel in cleaner, more efficient, cheaper, and healthier ways. 

‘Asthma + Lung UK’s new report is a valuable guide for government, businesses, and local authorities. It describes practical ways to reduce car use while not widening already dire heath, economic, and social inequalities.’


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1 year ago

Is this stiil appplicable? I’ve found this on the internet on a vehicle insurance page: “Stationary idling is an offence under Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
The act enforces Rule 123 of the Highway Code, that states:”“You must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road. ”. So, why does a certain tractor driver leave his engine running outside the village shop? He says it’s because restarting the engines makes even more fumes. Somehting wrong here. And what about idlign engines outside schools and our doctor’s surgery?

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