Calls for ministers to delay the rollout of Manchester’s Clean Air Zone could be about to reach the courts.
ClientEarth, who’ve won three court cases against HM Government regarding air pollution, are prepared to take formal proceeding for the introduction of CAZ in Greater Manchester.
Katie Nield, lawyer at environmental law charity ClientEarth, said: “Greater Manchester still clocks illegal and harmful levels of air pollution, with more than 1,200 premature deaths a year because of dirty air in the region and many more people suffering on a daily basis.
“Clean Air Zones are proven to be the most effective way to reduce illegal pollution quickly. Pausing plans for a CAZ in the region would be a serious blow for people’s health, especially for those on low incomes who suffer disproportionately from the impacts of toxic air.
“It’s a tough time for many UK households and businesses. Rather than stalling on action to protect people’s health and reduce the burden on the NHS, national and local leaders should be focusing on quickly rolling out the help and support that people and businesses need to move to cleaner forms of transport.
“Cleaning the air is a moral obligation, which should be enough of a motivation for the region’s leaders. However, there is also a legal obligation – in place to protect people’s health. If ministers approve this delay, they risk breaching that obligation and we will not hesitate to act to stop that happening.”