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Air pollution reduction measures outlined

Ministers have set out plans to meet European Union air quality targets.

The European Court of Justice last year effectively ordered the government to produce plans to cut nitrogen dioxide (NOx) levels in certain areas to below limits set out in the Air Quality Directive.

Today the government launched a consultation to seek views from local councils and transport authorities, businesses and members of the public on how best to do this.

Local ‘clean air zones’ are mooted, with councils urged to consider electric vehicle charging points, park-and-ride schemes and enhanced cycling infrastructure.

“On average, around 80% of NOx in areas where the UK is exceeding limits is due to transport,” said the consultation document. “Addressing transport therefore presents a significant opportunity to improve air quality.”

The consultation will run for eight weeks, and the government intends to hand revised air quality plans to the European Commission by the end of this year.

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