Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham air pollution leads to call for investment

Campaigners have called on Birmingham City Council to increase investment to tackle "toxic" air pollution.

Members from environmental group Friends of the Earth protested outside the council house earlier.

The protest was in response to a Supreme Court ruling stating Birmingham is one of 15 cities failing to meet air pollution limits.

The council said it had identified "specific actions seeking to address the primary problems".

'Toxic mix'

Campaigners said more investment in cycling and walking infrastructure would "go a long way towards cutting traffic and air pollution".

Robert Pass, from Birmingham Friends of the Earth, said: "Air pollution is often overlooked, but it is a huge problem, with massive health impacts that we can no longer ignore.

"Brummies are breathing in a toxic mix of chemicals on a daily basis, largely through traffic related tailpipe emissions."

He said the group estimates poor air quality is responsible for between 19,000 and 50,000 premature deaths a year in the UK.

A statement from the council said its Air Quality Action Plan 2011 supported "non-motor vehicle use".

"Birmingham, like most major cities and urban regions, faces ongoing challenges with air quality, in particular with concentrations of oxides of nitrogen, primarily as a release from road traffic", it added.

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