EU refuses UK air pollution reprieve

The British government’s plans to delay air pollution improvements in twelve UK areas have been refused by the European Commission, which says air quality must improve.

Britain may now face fines if it fails to improve air quality quickly.

Air pollution reduces average life expectancy in the UK by up to eight months, according to the government’s own statistics.

But ministers have been slow to meet agreed European standards on cutting levels of the pollutant NO2.

This comes mainly from vehicles. It causes problems with breathing – particularly for people with heart or lung problems.

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