The Government’s draft plan to tackle the UK’s toxic air crisis was published on May 5th and is open to consultation until June 15th. The aim of the plan is to improve air quality by reducing nitrogen dioxide levels (NO2). The options are designed to reduce the impact of diesel vehicles and accelerate the move to cleaner transport. The responsibility for action is being placed on local authorities. According to environmental lawyers, who forced ministers to publish proposals, the options are much weaker than hoped for. Since 2010 levels of NO2 emitted mostly by diesel vehicles have been shown to be above legal limits in almost 90% of urban areas in the UK and estimated to cause 23,000 early deaths a year.
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