Councils urged to redesign speed bumps to cut pollution

Local authorities should consider lower speed limits, clean air zones and even redesign speed bumps in a bid to reduce air pollution, health experts say.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said “smooth” driving would cut air pollution, linked to 25,000 deaths a year in England. But pollution experts said the measures will only make small improvements. Prof Ian Colbeck, of the University of Essex, said the plans pressured local government at a time of budget cuts. The health advisory body’s guidance is now out for consultation. Air pollution disproportionately affects people living in deprived and urban areas, especially children and the elderly. Figures show that motor vehicle traffic reached a record high in 2016, with 320 billion vehicle miles travelled on Great Britain’s roads – a 1.4% increase on last year .NICE says tiny specks of soot from vehicle exhaust, brake linings and tyres, as well as nitrogen dioxide gas, damage people’s health by increasing the risk of cancer and respiratory and heart diseases.

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