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MP calls on Prime Minister to adopt Air Quality Strategy to reduce Coronavirus risks in Cumbria

June 18, 2020 5:03 PM

Local MP Tim is calling on the Prime Minister to take forward proposals to improve air quality and to reduce the risk of coronavirus in the South Lakes.

Tim has joined 90 other Parliamentarians in writing to Boris Johnson to support proposals made by the All-Party Group on Air Pollution, based on evidence from scientists, businesses and local authorities.

The proposals include more frequent public transport, cleaner private transport, more pedestrian space and cycling, a clamp-down on wood and coal burning, and the adoption of World Health Organisation air quality targets.

Research from Harvard suggests that ongoing exposure to air pollution increases the COVID-19 death toll by 8%.

Meanwhile, research from Queen Mary University London shows that short term air pollution makes people more likely to catch the virus and evidence also suggests the virus can be transported on pollution through the air.

Tim said: "Air quality in the South Lakes has naturally improved during lockdown but if we simply get back in our cars there will be a return of pollution levels which increases the risks of catching and becoming seriously ill or dying from coronavirus.

"None of us wants to have a second peak and another drawn out lockdown, so we must have a strategy of less travel, with more frequent safe public transport alongside greener, less-polluting vehicles alongside other measures to cut pollution.

"The new normal should also allow people to spend more time walking, cycling, working from home wherever possible and enjoying the outdoors with less pollution."