- After learning that some areas of their city has levels of air pollution that are considered unsafe and breach EU law, 76% of those surveyed were concerned about high levels of air pollution in their area.
- 76% support the introduction of dedicated clean-zones to deal with the problem
- Only 17% would be less likely to buy from a company that introduces zero-emission vehicles, even if it makes them more expensive
Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Clean Air Alliance and supported by Dearman, the clean cold technology company, has demonstrated widespread concern about air pollution and support for the introduction of Clean Air Zones to help address the problem.
More than 800 people from five cities, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Nottingham and Southampton, were interviewed. After learning that some areas of their city has levels of air pollution that are considered unsafe and breach EU law, 76% of those surveyed expressed concern about the levels of air pollution in their area. There was also strong support for action to be taken, with 76% backing the introduction of Clean Air or Ultra Low Emission Zones in their city.
Discussing the research, Dan Byles, Chair of the Clean Air Alliance said: “This research demonstrates just how big an issue air quality has become. As awareness of the scale of the problem and evidence of pollution’s impact on our health has grown, people have become justifiably concerned.
“Crucially, there is now a growing national consensus about what needs to be done, with widespread support for the introduction of measures to discourage polluting diesel vehicles and encourage uptake of less polluting alternatives. People are even willing to pay more to be served by companies that use low emission vehicles!
“The Government and local authorities have been presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment and on people’s health. It’s vital that decisive action is taken now to address all the most polluting vehicles on our roads – not just the ones that are most obvious – and to reduce pollution where it does the most harm.”
Toby Peters, Founder and CEO of Dearman added: “Not only is there recognition about the problem, but huge support for Clean Air Zones as part of the solution. We are clearly at a crossroads and people across the country aren’t just calling for a change of direction, but many are now willing to back companies and authorities that demonstrate leadership. This will only continue to gather momentum and hopefully we are on the verge of cleaner air for everyone.”
This research was conducted as plans are being developed to introduce Clean Air Zones in five British cities (Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby & Southampton) and the Mayor of London has announced an intention to extend the proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone. There was also broad support for some form of taxation or charging to address the most polluting vehicles and encourage the uptake of alternatives. Only 11% of people suggested that none of the most polluting vehicles should be charged.
A significant, although often overlooked cause of urban air pollution is vehicles which feature small but under regulated secondary diesel engines. These include diesel transport refrigeration units, which keep refrigerated delivery vehicles cool, and can emit up to six times as much NOx and 29 times as much particulate matter as a far larger Euro VI diesel truck engine. Despite this, 86% were not aware that some vehicles feature two engines and the higher levels of pollution these engines often create.
The research did however highlight support for companies that are willing to to adopt zero emission alternatives in order to address air pollution. Only 17% of people said they would be less likely to buy from a company that introduces zero emission vehicles, even if that made their products more expensive.
For further information or hi-res images, please contact:
Ben Heatley, Head of Corporate Communications, Dearman
T: +44 (0) 203 617 9170
M: +44 (0) 755 7944 230
Laura Gilmore, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns, Dearman
T: +44 (0) 203 617 9170
M: +44 (0) 788 430 3239