Greens expose the inconvenient truth behind Labour’s drive to grow Exeter

15 September 2017

As councillors on an Exeter City Council committee meet this Thursday to discuss Exeter’s air quality, the Green Party have slammed the Council for years of inaction, demanding bold measures to tackle air pollution, mainly caused by traffic, and make it easier to move around the city.

Greens say current plans fall far short of what is needed to tackle the premature deaths and health problems resulting from Exeter’s poor air quality. They also accuse the Council of failing to monitor air quality effectively which has led to the misleading conclusion that “air quality is generally good”.

Exeter Green Party are calling for bold measures to reverse what they call a ‘health crisis’ in the city. They say measures to reduce traffic are essential to improving air quality. They suggest measures such as a Workplace Parking Levy, successfully used in Nottingham to charge larger businesses for the parking spaces they provide, shows how businesses and Councils can work together to invest in sustainable transport measures, improve traffic flows and reduce air pollution.

Greens also say that money raised from other measures such as variable parking charges based on demand at different times of the day could pay to redesign streets to benefit pedestrians, improve the cycling network and invest in public transport.

Green Party councillor, Chris Musgrave, who will be attending the committee today, which is open to the public, said:

“Exeter has suffered from illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide for over ten years. It is a silent and invisible killer caused by some of the worst congestion in the country.

“It is the inconvenient truth behind Labour’s drive to grow Exeter that unless we reduce traffic, now – before the city grows bigger – people will continue to die prematurely and have health problems associated with our toxic air.

“Such a critical health crisis requires bold solutions. We need Labour to begin a proper discussion with residents, business, developers and across parties about which policies will work best at reducing traffic in Exeter – what has been done to date clearly isn’t working.

“Air pollution is an important concern for many people and a new to is needed to make Exeter cleaner and safer, and a much easier city for all to move around.”

Exeter Green Party is launching a new campaign on air quality and has started a petition calling for both Devon and Exeter Councils to take bold, joined up and urgent action air quality.

Notes: Link to petition: https://exeter.greenparty.org.uk/air-pollution.html

Contact:  Cllr Chris Musgrave : 07872301974