Campaigners fighting illegal levels of air pollution in Calderdale

Queues on Godley Lane, Halifax.
Queues on Godley Lane, Halifax.

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners are calling for more action to be taken – including charges for high polluting vehicles – to combat deadly air pollution in Calderdale.

Analysis by Friends of the Earth of the government’s new air pollution modelling revealed without further action being taken. Calderdale would still have illegal levels of air pollution in 2018.

Friends of the Earth is calling for properly funded, charging Clean Air Zones (CAZs) to be introduced by the end of 2018, covering all places where air is otherwise predicted to be at illegal levels in 2019 and beyond.

This would mean 58 local authorities should be required and funded to introduce, by the end of 2018, CAZs to restrict the worst polluting vehicles from areas with illegal air pollution.

Oliver Hayes, Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner, said: Fresh analysis of the government’s own data reveals the staggering scale of this public health crisis.

“Shockingly, air pollution is predicted to continue damaging people’s lungs for many years to come.

“The current plans for cleaning up our air are shamefully inadequate. With 40,000 early deaths each year from air pollution, and children’s young lungs especially vulnerable, this is a sickening amount of suffering – much of which could be prevented.

“The government must do far more to protect the public’s lungs from this pollution, including urgently introducing Clean Air Zones by the end of 2018 for everywhere which would otherwise have illegally dirty air.”

Anne Schiffer, Friends of the Earth Leeds campaigner, said: “In Yorkshire and the Humber alone, over 2,500 people die early each year due to air pollution.

“The air we breathe is literally killing us. It is pathetic that successive governments have failed to take on air pollution and have condemned people from Sheffield to Leeds to worsened asthma, heart disease, and early death.

“We’re calling on MPs across Yorkshire and the Humber to stand up for our right to clean air. That means working together to bring in Clean Air Zones in places like Leeds, and demanding that the government commits to continued action to tackle toxic air, so that our children and grandchildren can breathe more safely.”