Birmingham Friends of the Earth have called on decision-makers not to be complacent on air pollution as smog levels dissipate.

We have said that the recent smog should be seen as a wake-up call to the dangers of poor air quality and the need to tackle the traffic that’s causing it.

  Julien Pritchard said:

 “This particular smog episode should be seen as wake-up call to the health effects of poor air quality, and how much of a problem air pollution is. Just because this particular smog has dissipated does not mean we have solved our air pollution problem.

 “Our pre-existing high levels of air pollution has contributed to this smog episode, and while we can’t control sand from the Sahara, we can control our local air pollution, mainly caused by traffic.

 “Prevention is better than cure. With air pollution contributing to 29,000 premature deaths every year in the UK and 530 last year in Birmingham, can’t just rely on a change of weather or wind direction to tackle the deadly air pollution. Strong local and national Government action is needed to tackle the underlying problem too.

 “With 25% of Birmingham car journeys under 2 miles, continued high levels of investment in walking and cycling over the the long term are essential in order to make it easier and safer for people to choose those moods of transport.”