Green Party calls for on Government to spend £30 per person on walking and cycling

24 February 2018

* Greens put six demands for immediate air pollution action to Government

* Photo opportunity: Campaigners will hold a street party with biodegradable balloons, games and bubbles in Brixton Road at 12pm on Saturday 24 February

* Amelia Womack: “We all have the right to trust the air we breathe”

The Green Party will call on the Government to spend £30 per person on walking and cycling every year as it sets out fresh demands to clean up Britain’s dirty air.

The party will also call for new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st century, for the phase out of petrol and diesel cars to be brought forward to 2030, and for an expanded national network of Clean Air Zones to be set up by the end of this year.

Green deputy leader Amelia Womack and transport spokesperson Caroline Russell will set out the fresh demands for the Government at a street party in London on Saturday [1], as part of the Green Party’s Breathing Cities campaign.

The event is one of several street parties [2] taking place across Britain, which will reclaim some of the country’s dirtiest streets as places people can live and play free from air pollution.

With Britain’s dirty air contributing to 40,000 premature deaths a year, and 37 of the country’s 43 zones breaching legal air pollution limits, the Green Party will challenge the Government to take six immediate steps to ensure everyone in Britain can trust the air they breathe.

The Green Party calls on the Government to [3]:

  • Publish a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st century
  • Spend £30 per person on walking and cycling every year
  • Bring forward the phase out of petrol and diesel car sales from 2040 to 2030
  • Implement an expanded national network of Clean Air Zones by the end of 2018
  • Create and fund a targeted diesel scrappage scheme which swaps dirty cars for public transport and cycling tokens and other green alternatives
  • Increase the Vehicle Excise Duty for new diesel cars announced in the Autumn Budget 2017

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, is expected to say:

“We all have the right to trust the air we breathe. Yet at the moment the air in our polluted cities is so dirty it is cutting lives short and making people sick. I urge the Government to take urgent action to make this a reality and create cities we can breathe in. Ministers are quick to offer platitudes on air pollution but simple steps like increasing the money spent on walking and cycling would show the Government is ready to put its money where its mouth is.”

Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly member and transport spokesperson, said:

“Imagine streets with protected cycle lanes, and unpolluted pavements where it is safe and convenient to walk and cycle. Cities with such good and accessible public transport it’s easier to leave the car at home. And streets with less traffic, cleaner air and outdoor space reclaimed for communities. We believe that we could all live in cities like this, but only if the Government shows leadership and takes bold action now.”

ENDS.

For more information or to register interest to attend the event contact: press@greenparty.org.uk / 0203 691 9401

Press contact in London on Saturday 24 February: Gwen Buck, 07718 570676

Notes:

  1.  

London event:

Speeches and photo opportunity with Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack and transport spokesperson Caroline Russell.

Saturday 24 February, 12pm, Brixton Road, London, SW9 6.

Brixton Road breached annual air pollution limits at the end of January this year.


2.

Street parties are also taking place in Sheffield, Leeds and Reading.

3.

The Green Party’s clean air demands, in full:

  • Publish a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st century

Which improves on and strengthens existing legislation, establishing clean air as a human right in law. Polling shows 65% of British public support a new Clean Air Act.

  • Spend £30 per person on walking and cycling

An increase from the Government’s current spend of £6.50 per person per year.

  • Bring forward the phase out of petrol and diesel car sales from 2040 to 2030
  • Implement an expanded national network of Clean Air Zones by the end of 2018

Implement a national network of Clean Air Zones by the end of 2018, mandated and funded by central Government, to end all illegal air pollution levels as soon as possible within the next two years.

  • Create and fund a targeted diesel scrappage scheme which swaps dirty cars for public transport and cycling tokens and other green alternatives

Implement and fund a targeted diesel scrappage scheme that trades cars for public  transport tokens, low emissions car club memberships, cargo bike and electric bike discounts, and subsidies for public transport and clean vehicle infrastructure, including subsidies specifically targeted at lower income drivers and small businesses.

  • Increase the Vehicle Excise Duty for new diesel cars announced in the Autumn Budget 2017

Implement a larger increase to the Vehicle Excise Duty for new diesel cars announced in the Autumn Budget 2017, by at least £800, so as to reflect the additional cost to society of dirty diesel engines. This would generate £500 million a year, which should be directed at helping fund a targeted diesel scrappage scheme, and not road building or car-dependent development.






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