The Government’s new Clean Air Strategy lacks coherence and a truly joined-up approach for reducing emissions from transport, the Urban Transport Group has warned today.

The strategy, which was launched today by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, sets out the Government’s plans to tackle the growing air pollution problem in the UK, and specifically to reduce harmful particulate matter emissions – tiny particles that can cause short and long-term health problems – by 30% by 2020, and by 46% by 2030.

Road transport accounts for 12% of particulate matter emissions in the UK.

Yet the strategy contains little new information on how to curb emissions from road transport, which is responsible for some 80% of roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations, another pollutant which negatively affects our health.

The Government also said that its ‘Road to Zero’ strategy for reducing exhaust emissions from road vehicles will not be published as part of this consultation.

Responding to the strategy, Dr Jon Lamonte, Chief Executive of Transport for Greater Manchester and Urban Transport Group lead Board member for air quality, said: “The Government is right to place such a strong emphasis on reducing air pollution.

“Yet its strategy lacks coherence and a truly joined-up approach on how national Government and city regions can work together to tackle transport’s role in what MPs have called a ‘national health emergency’.

“Improving poor air quality caused by transport requires a herculean effort, and cities must be given the adequate powers, support and, most crucially, the funding needed to deliver effective local air quality plans.”

Click here to read the full strategy.