British rail companies have come together to launch a new Air Quality Strategy Framework in a bid to keep pollution levels down following a dramatic decrease during lockdown.
According to the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, GB rail is responsible for approximately 2% of national nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions and around 4% of transport NOX emissions.
During lockdown, NOX emissions have declined in some areas by up to 40%, in a bid to keep these emissions down, the Rail Safety and Standard Board (RSSB) has launched an industry-wide strategy that has been backed by all rail-bodies.
Some of the measures that the framework will focus on include improving emission mapping to ensure risk to passengers, staff and public is understood, annually reviewing and updating emission factors, developing an effective communication strategy to share new policy, and investigating measures to reduce emissions at the source.
Anthony Perret, head of the sustainable development programme at RSSB said: ‘The Air Quality Strategy Framework is a truly collaborative effort within the industry to identify and address the risks that air quality poses to passengers, staff and the environment.
‘There is still a great deal that remains unclear; however, the Air Quality Strategy Framework is a transparent step in the right direction for the industry and I am excited to see what results we will be able to share in just over a year.’
Maggie Simpson, director-general of Rail Freight Group said: ‘The public’s appetite for improving air quality is only likely to increase following the reduction in air pollution during the coronavirus crisis.
‘The Rail Freight Group has been pleased to be involved in the timely development of this new strategic framework to help the sector improve air quality.
‘This will give rail freight customers confidence in choosing a mode of transport which not only takes lorries off the roads and out of the hearts of communities but is serious about further improving its own air quality.’
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