Local Government Association calls for greater powers for councils to tackle air pollution
The Local Government Association (LGA) has backed the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, calls for a diesel scrappage scheme to help tackle air pollution in towns and cities.
Last week, the Mayor announced that he will be consulting on a range of measures in a bid to improve air quality in the capital (see airqualitynews.com story).
These included re-drawing plans for an ultra-low emission zone and giving Transport for London (TfL) the go-ahead to assess the costs and benefits of a diesel scrappage scheme.
These proposals have been welcomed by the LGA, which represents the UK’s local authorities, which has claimed that councils are playing a ‘pivotal role’ in tackling air pollution across the country.
The LGA added that any potential move away from diesel should tie-in with enhanced powers for councils to tackle air pollution.
Councillor Peter Box, the organisation’s environment spokesman, said: “We support moves to introduce national scrappage incentives which councils believe would encourage a shift away from diesel cars towards low emission vehicles. This should coincide with further government action to incentivise a move away from polluting diesel vehicles and consideration about what contribution vehicle manufacturers should make to the cost of reducing harmful vehicle emissions.
“Councils are playing a pivotal role in tackling air pollution by encouraging the use of electric vehicles with recharging points, promoting cycling, managing borough-wide air pollution monitoring networks, pioneering the concept of low-emission zones and engaging with businesses to increase awareness and reduce their environmental impact.â€?
Cllr Box added that powers to tackle congestion should be a part of a ‘range of powers’ given to councils to improve air quality.
He noted: “Councils across the country also need a range of powers to allow them to further tackle poor air quality. This includes councils outside of London also being able to combat congestion hot spots by enforcing moving traffic violations, including illegal U-turns and box junction offences.â€?