I recognise the correlation between transport-related air pollutant emissions and negative public health impacts, and that idling vehicles can contribute to these levels particularly in urban areas where it is more difficult for emissions to disperse. Among the best ways to reduce emissions from private vehicles across the road network as a whole, is to remove older more polluting vehicles from our streets, and to encourage a modal shift to sustainable travel options, including walking and cycling, and electric vehicles.
The interim report of the Urban Transport-Related Air Pollution Group, which was published earlier this year, made a number of recommendations on how to reduce vehicle emissions in our towns and cities and highlights some of the actions Local Authorities can take, including traffic flow management, and changes to speed limits. In addition, the Five Cities Traffic Demand Management Study published recently by the Department of Transport proposes a range of measures to combat overreliance on cars. The report also includes a toolkit that Local Authorities can use to help them to reduce emissions, tackle congestion, and improve air quality as well as the overall urban environment in our five major cities.
Further actions to reduce transport-related air pollutant emissions are being developed as part of the Clean Air Strategy, and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications continues to work in conjunction with the Department of Transport on these matters.