Mayoral candidates urged to sign up to Air Pollution Manifesto

7 April 2021

Describing it as having deadly impacts on outdoor workers, and being the UK’s largest environmental risk to health with 40,000 early deaths a year, the British Safety Council (BSC) has launched a new campaign to tackle air pollution.

Its Air Pollution Manifesto calls on all candidates standing for election as a Metro Mayor on 6 May 2021 to commit to the BSC Time to Breathe 7-Point Plan.

“The shocking reality for many outdoor workers in the UK is that they are breathing toxic air during their working day,” BSC Chief Executive Mike Robinson said. “For them, ambient air pollution has turned the simple, human act of breathing into a deadly occupational hazard. Action is long overdue. Now is the time to invest in clean air for outdoor workers.”

The Manifesto

Mayoral candidates are asked to commit to:

  • appointing a Clean Air Czar with executive powers to ensure that levels of ambient air pollution are reduced to below legal/ WHO guideline limits for the most dangerous sources of air pollution in the shortest time possible

  • running a publicity campaign to encourage drivers to stop engine idling

  • permitting electric cars only in cities from 2030 at the latest

  • retrofitting diesel buses to be powered by electricity to improve urban air quality;

  • implementing a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) or an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) covering the metro area

  • funding air pollution monitoring infrastructure to the same accuracy as London for emissions data

  • investing in cleaner energy, cycling and walking.

Further details can be found on the BSC website.

“Outdoor workers deserve the same legal protections as those on the factory floor,” Mr Robinson concluded. “No one should be made ill by the job that they do.”