Taskforce to tackle Liverpool air pollution

A taskforce has been set up to look at measures to address air pollution in the Liverpool city region.

Formation of the group was approved at a meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority on Friday (16 November).

Liverpool city council is one of 33 local authorities brought into the scope of the government’s air quality plan following a High Court ruling this year

Elected representatives from the city region’s six local authorities – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral – will make up the group.

The Air Quality Task Force will work to raise awareness of air pollution and make recommendations to progress action to tackle poor air quality, the Combined Authority has said.

Speaking about the new taskforce, Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, said: “Poor air quality is a national public health crisis which is shortening the lives of people across our city region, and disproportionately affecting the old and the young, those who are already sick, and our most deprived communities.

“That is why we have established this Air Quality Task Force, to raise the profile of this issue and help us, as a Combined Authority, to improve air quality in our city region.

“I have previously called on central government to take action in this area but we are determined to do all that we can as a city region to help clean up the air that we all breathe.”

‘Practical measures’

Councillor Liam Robinson, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Air Quality, said: “We are already taking action, through practical measures, such as making it easier to walk and cycle safely, helping schools with travel planning and rolling out low-carbon vehicle technology, such as more car charging points.

“However there is more that we can do, particularly around transport, as nitrogen dioxide from vehicles is the main pollutant affecting people’s health.

“While we will do everything in our power to tackle air pollution we also need action from central government through measures such as vehicle scrappage schemes and funding for behaviour change programmes.”

The new Air Quality Task Force builds on recommendations made by the Combined Authority’s Overview and Scrutiny committee, accepted by the Combined Authority earlier in the year.