Liverpool’s clean air U-turn ‘risks lives’, leading charity says

Plans to abandon a Clean Air Zone in Merseyside’s biggest borough have sparked criticism from experts.

A perceived U-turn on a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) for the city of Liverpool has angered Asthma + Lung UK, the country’s leading charity for respiratory illnesses. 

The decision to abandon a charge-based CAZ was revealed by Paul Farrell of Liverpool City Council, during a panel discussion about emission-cutting road schemes in different UK cities, held at this year’s Northern Air Quality News Conference, which took place at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, in May. More recently, an article published this week by the Liverpool Express clarified the new Clean Air Plan (CAP) would be based on a non-charging model. 

‘Liverpool City Council’s U-turn on introducing a charging Clean Air Zone shows a disappointing lack of ambition to tackle the air pollution that will still put the lives and lungs of the city’s half a million residents at risk,’ said Tim Dexter, Campaigns Manager, Air Quality, at Asthma + Lung UK. ‘How many children will develop asthma, be admitted to hospital fighting for breath or even die because of this decision? 

‘More than 140,000 people in Liverpool have life-threatening lung conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that are worsened by air pollution. Far from leading the way on delivering clean air as Liverpool City Council previously pledged, this latest decision falls short in addressing the danger posed by dirty air and the massive health inequalities that Liverpool faces,’ he continued. ‘Liverpool City Council leaders should look at their immediate neighbours in Sefton, who are now proposing a Clean Air Zone. And over the Pennines to cities such as Bradford, who face similar challenges yet continue to adopt a public health-first approach.’ 

Bradford City Council will introduce a Clean Air Zone based on a charging model from September. 

Image credit: Alan Wright


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1 year ago

Hi Paul Farrell here, for the record I’m not a Councillor, i’m an Officer at Liverpool City Council.
Also could you share with me who the experts are that have criticized the decision, I wouldn’t have thought a campaign manager would be an expert of air quality, although I stand to be corrected.

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