12 October 2018

Brighton & Hove signs up to Cleaner Air Charter

Brighton & Hove City Council has signed up to Oxford City Council’s Charter for Cleaner Air which calls on the UK Government to put the health of communities first and make improving air quality a priority. The charter was approved by members of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on 9 October.  

The charter sets out ten key steps for the UK Government to take to tackle the issue of air pollution, including providing greater investment in public transport, tightening legal limits and improving national monitoring. It also calls on the Government to demonstrate national leadership by removing the most polluting vehicles from town and cities and launching a public health campaign to highlight the dangers of air pollution.  

Brighton & Hove City Council has already taken significant steps to reduce air pollution including providing funding for low and zero emission buses, improving junctions and expanding the Low Emission Zone. In the next few months, 200 new electric vehicle charging points will be installed across the city thanks to a successful funding bid. Major projects, including the Valley Gardens scheme, aim to improve transport routes for cyclists and pedestrians and enhance the city centre’s green spaces.

Chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, Councillor Gill Mitchell, said: “Air pollution is now recognised as the UK’s largest environmental risk to public health, contributing to heart and respiratory diseases, and lung cancer. We are determined to improve air quality in the city and have already taken steps to tackle air pollution, including investing in low emission public transport, developing electric vehicle infrastructure and improving pedestrian and cycle links. 

“Signing Oxford City Council’s Charter for Cleaner Air demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving air quality for our residents. As a council, we can only do so much, and I urge the Government to make this issue a priority and work with us to improve air quality for our communities.” 

Councillor Tom Hayes, Board Member for Safer, Greener, Environment, at Oxford City Council, said: “It’s truly fantastic news that Brighton and Hove Council has signed up to Oxford’s Cleaner Air Charter. Local authorities can only do so much within the legislative and funding framework set by Government and standing together, two Councils in the South-East of England are telling the Environment Secretary very loudly and clearly that we need more money and stronger powers to achieve the cleanest air for everyone in our communities.

“Everyone has the right to breathe clean air. Oxford's Charter calls on Government to take ten radical steps to put the health of our people first. With the support of Brighton and Hove City Council, we seek to protect all of our citizens, especially the poorest and most vulnerable whose health disproportionately bears the harms of air pollution. We call on other local authorities to join us and sign the Cleaner Air Charter now." 

Read the Charter for Cleaner Air