Three-quarters of people living in cities want clean air zones, poll finds
Arthur Neslen and Adam Vaughan
Monday 4 July 2016 14.46 BST
YouGov survey of more than 800 people shows 76% want to bring their cities in line with European limits on air pollution
The mayor of London wants to more than double the size of London’s planned Ultra Low Emissions Zone and introduce it earlier. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
The UK may be on its way out of the EU but more than three-quarters (76%) of people want clean air zones to bring their cities into line with European standards, according to a YouGov poll.
The poll comes as new forecasting suggests London will still breach the limits for another 14 years without further action and the mayor of London,
Sadiq Khan, prepares to make a major speech on pollution-cutting measures on Tuesday.
Around 40,000 Britons die early every year from exposure to pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter, and many more fall victim to illnesses ranging from heart attacks to bronchitis. Dozens of British cities have been in breach of EU NO2 limits since 2010.
“This research demonstrates just how big an issue air quality has become,” said Dan Byles, the chairman of the Clean Air Alliance, which commissioned the research. “As awareness of the scale of the problem and evidence of pollution’s impact on our health has grown, people have become justifiably concerned.”
YouGov polled more than 800 people in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton, where the government plans to introduce clean air schemes by 2020, as well as in London, where an “ultra low emissions zone” is planned.
Only 11% of people opposed using taxation and charges to drive polluting vehicles off the roads, and just 17% said they would be less likely to buy from a company that made low-emission vehicles – even if this made them more expensive.