At its meeting on Friday, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority voted to establish a new Air Quality Task Force.
Made up of elected representatives from the city region’s six local authorities, as well as representatives from organisations across the city region, the Air Quality Task Force will work to raise awareness of the issue and make recommendations to progress action to tackle poor air quality.
The work of the task force will also help to deliver Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s broader environmental pledge to make the city region the greenest in the UK.
Speaking about the new task force, Steve Rotheram said:
“Poor air quality is a national public health crisis which is shortening the lives of people across our city region, and disproportionately affecting the old and the young, those who are already sick, and our most deprived communities.
“That is why we have established this Air Quality Task Force, to raise the profile of this issue and help us, as a Combined Authority, to improve air quality in our city region.
“I have previously called on central government to take action in this area but we are determined to do all that we can as a city region to help clean up the air that we all breathe.”
Councillor Liam Robinson, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Air Quality, said:
“We are already taking action, through practical measures, such as making it easier to walk and cycle safely, helping schools with travel planning and rolling out low-carbon vehicle technology, such as more car charging points.
“However there is more that we can do, particularly around transport, as nitrogen dioxide from vehicles is the main pollutant affecting people’s health.
“While we will do everything in our power to tackle air pollution we also need action from central government through measures such as vehicle scrappage schemes and funding for behaviour change programmes.”
The new Air Quality Task Force builds on recommendations made by the Combined Authority’s Overview and Scrutiny committee, accepted by the Combined Authority earlier in the year.