Last reviewed 15 June 2022

Bus Users has responded to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) consultation on environmental targets by suggesting they should be exceeded.

The consultation, available — here, was launched in March 2022 and invited comments on environmental targets set out in the Environment Act 2021.

Bus Users called on the Government to go beyond the current targets on air pollution, which it described as “business-as-usual”, and highlighted the urgent need to move people away from private cars and onto public, shared and active travel in order to achieve net zero and improve air quality.

It also argues that there should be clear targets for each mode of transport to identify what progress is being made in each area and where more work and/or support is required.

In its response, Bus Users stated: “The approach to pollution monitoring currently is patchy. These proposals only aim to reduce the amount of pollution monitored in 2040 by the Automatic Urban and Rural Network to ‘on average, 35% less polluted than in 2018’. This does nothing to address pollution hotspots (eg outside homes, schools and workplaces) unless they are close to a monitoring station.”

The full text of the response can be found — here — and it ends with a call for a much more ambitious exposure reduction target alongside a major enhancement of the air pollution monitoring system, including all major transport hubs and bus/coach stations.