Cost of clean air will ben­e­fit whole so­ci­ety

Bath Chronicle - - OPINION -

I was dis­ap­pointed to read some of the re­sponses to the clean air plans last week. A lot of peo­ple seem to have fo­cussed very much on how it will im­pact them per­son­ally and not on the big­ger pic­ture of ev­ery­one’s health. One key point to note is that around 75% of ve­hi­cles will be com­pli­ant by 2021 any­way just by nat­u­ral wastage. And now the coun­cil has laid out a very clear plan, I would imag­ine that fig­ure will be rather higher, es­pe­cially for busi­nesses. Clean air zones are go­ing to be com­mon place in a few years - there will be no point run­ning an old HGV or LGV if it is un­eco­nom­i­cal to go in or near ma­jor UK cities. Bear in mind too, that Batho­ni­ans have some of the high­est walk­ing and cy­cling to work rates in the coun­try. So isn’t it right we look to pro­tect our cit­i­zens from the mi­nor­ity of the mi­nor­ity - the few ve­hi­cles which by 2021 which have un­ac­cept­able emis­sions? Es­pe­cially our youngest cit­i­zens who have been shown to suf­fer the most dam­age to their lung func­tions from poor air qual­ity. I be­lieve a school has lob­bied to be in­side the zone for just that rea­son. I have a ve­hi­cle which will def­i­nitely not be ex­empt from the charge. I have two years to de­cide what to do - buy a post-2006 petrol ve­hi­cle or plan to pay the charge. It is has­sle for me, and it may cost me some­thing in fi­nan­cial terms. But isn’t the value of clean air for our whole so­ci­ety worth a lot more? Guy Hodg­son Green Park

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