On 6 July, Transport for London (TfL) launched a public consultation on measures to reduce traffic and improve air quality in central London. The new proposals would see the exemption from the Congestion Charge for private hire vehicles (PHVs) removed and the introduction of a new Cleaner Vehicle Discount to replace the Ultra Low Emission Discount.
Professor Jennifer Mindell, Chair of the Health Improvement Committee, UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH), commented on the proposals. She said: “Air pollution is a big public health challenge killing 40,000 people every year in this country. Pollution is a particularly big problem in London and other big cities. That’s why FPH welcomes TfL’s planned changes to the Congestion Charge. We know that chargeable clean air zones are one of the most effective ways of reducing air pollution and its associated health effects, such as asthma, heart disease and stroke. We’re also pleased that the plans will be gradually expanded to cover a wider area as this will improve the quality of air for more Londoners as well as those working in and visiting the city.
“But tackling air pollution must be everyone’s responsibility. Londoners can do more by driving less and instead, using public transport or cycling or walking, to travel around. Not using cars is not only better for our environment (and for local businesses) but also for our physical and mental wellbeing. Members of FPH and the wider public health community must continue to champion the need for cleaner air and support TfL and the Mayor of London’s ambitious clean air aspirations.”
About the UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH)
FPH is a membership organisation for 4,000 public health professionals from across the UK and around the world, and is a registered charity. Our role is to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and national populations. We support the training of public health professionals and campaign to improve health policy in partnership with local and national governments.
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