The Mayor of Cambridge has joined 13 others across the country to call for 'clean air zones' in city centres. They want the Government to support the scheme where drivers of the most polluting vehicles pay a fee.
A report released by UK100, a network of local leaders, shows that towns and cities could see an economic return of £6.5bn with support from the Government to tackle illegal levels of air pollution.
Under the UK100 plan, lower-income residents and small businesses would be offered incentives of between £2,000 and £6,000 to either upgrade existing vehicles or get rid of their older, polluting vehicles and switch to a cleaner form of transport such as electric vehicles or public transport.
Polly Billington, Director of UK100, a network of local leaders that campaigns on clean air, said: “It will boost the health of our communities and save the NHS money."
Studies have shown air pollution contributes to up to 36,000 annual deaths. Physicians say treating health problems from exposure to air pollution costs more than £20bn per year.
"Sensible investment by national government is needed to support local authorities to take the most polluting vehicles off our roads while ensuring that the poorest in our towns and cities are not the hardest hit by pollution and measures to tackle it.”