Transport revolution key to addressing air pollution, say Green Party

As new research from Exeter University reveals that air pollution caused by traffic affects virtually every part of the country, Exeter Green Party is calling for a transport revolution to address the ongoing problem of serious air pollution in parts of the city. Measures being called for by the Greens include:

  • A Devon metro rail service – opening up new lines and stations in and around the city, increasing train frequencies and introducing tickets that can be used across all forms of public transport;
  • Investing in high-quality walking and cycling routes and turning Exeter into the electric bicycle capital of the South West;
  • Introducing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, where motor vehicle traffic is restricted and walking and cycling is prioritised; 
  • Bringing shared electric vehicles to every neighbourhood.

Diana Moore, Green Party councillor in St David’s ward, said:

“As we emerge from lockdown, we risk returning to severe levels of air pollution in Exeter. I have continued to challenge the Labour-led council over their failure to recognise the seriousness of the problem. Air pollution is particularly bad in the city centre wards and along major corridors. The Exeter university study has found that 94% of land area in the UK suffers varying levels of air pollution, despite roads covering just 1% of the country. This is having severe impacts on wildlife and on human health, particularly in urban areas.”

Catherine Rees, City Council candidate for Heavitree, said:

“The Heavitree corridor is a pollution hotspot, where air pollution levels are illegal or close to illegal. Nearly all this pollution is due to motor vehicles. We need to set in motion a transport revolution that makes walking, cycling and using public transport preferable to using a car.

“We need improved public transport, incentives to encourage the purchase and use of electric bicycles, shared electric vehicles and redesigning our streets for the movement of people rather than vehicles. This will not only clean up the air we breathe but also help create healthier, safer and more pleasant neighbourhoods.”


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