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Galloway calls for tougher air quality measures

Bradford West MP George Galloway urges Bradford council to look at stringent measures to tackle air quality problems in city

Respect MP for Bradford West George Galloway has called for urgent action to improve air quality in the city, including mandatory spot checks on vehicles.

The MP’s comments come as Bradford metropolitan district council prepares to vote on the adoption of a Low Emission Strategy (LES) at an executive meeting on Tuesday (November 5).

Bradford city hall

Bradford city hall

The focus of the Low Emission Strategy is transport, with measures to encourage uptake of alternative modes of transport, the establishment of low emission zones within the city and investment in infrastructure for alternative fuels.

It also suggests that a review of air quality is needed in Bradford to establish a ‘robust profile’ of the road transport system and to help raise awareness of the health impact of vehicle emissions.

Strategy

However, Mr Galloway has claimed that the strategy does not go far enough to address concerns over the air quality in the city and has called for more stringent measures to be adopted.

He said: “It’s obvious that vehicle pollution, particularly from heavy goods vehicles and buses, is one of the major causes of some 853 emergency hospital admissions last year of asthma sufferers. Pollution is particularly high in parts of my constituency, like Manningham for instance.

“It’s sensible, as the council’s Low Emission Strategy recommends, to direct heavy vehicles away from pollution trouble-spots like Manningham Lane. But it doesn’t go far enough. We need rigorous spot-checks on HGVs and buses to see if their emissions are below the legal limit.

“I’m not convinced this is happening and I will be asking questions in parliament about it. And we need transport companies and hauliers to commit to green initiatives, like dual fuel and natural gas and, where possible, we need goods traffic shifted to the railways.”

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