Latest news and eventsGo back to previous page

ADEPT press release: Government must provide clear leadership on air quality and not just leave it to Councils

23 May 2018

Press release For immediate issue 23 May 2018

The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) has responded to the launch of Defra’s Clean Air Strategy.

Chair of ADEPT’s Environment Board, Paula Hewitt said: “We welcome the Government’s draft strategy and its commitment to new primary legislation, but there must be clear political leadership on the tricky issues, such as charging.

“Air quality is a national concern, the Government must play its part and provide proactive leadership, not just push responsibility to councils to design local solutions. Tackling air pollution requires a ‘joined up’ approach that crosses sectors, professions, and administrative boundaries.”

ADEPT considers that Clean Air Zones with charging will have the greatest impact in reducing air pollution in the worst affected areas over the short to medium term.

Ms Hewitt continued: “Air pollution is not just a health issue, it is a health inequality issue that has a disproportionate impact on children and on the people who live in our poorest communities.

“Charging drivers of polluting vehicles to drive into areas where air pollution is the biggest threat – including near many urban schools - is badly needed, but will require public understanding as air pollution is not just a technical issue.”

To achieve this, the Association argues that communications and behaviour change are vital. Increasing public awareness will help people to understand how their behaviour and transport choices impact on air quality. Providing real time information will enable them to change their travel and avoid the worst affected areas.

For the long term, ADEPT believes that better planning is needed to create healthy, sustainable communities that facilitate and promote alternatives to the use of polluting vehicles.


Notes to Editors:

For more information and further case studies, please contact Julie Everett at Coast Communications on 01579 352600 or 07866002635 or email

The ADEPT Strategic Plan can be downloaded here:

About ADEPT The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) represents local authority county, unitary and metropolitan Directors. Operating at the strategic tier of local government, members are responsible for delivering public services that primarily relate to the physical environment and the economy, but which have a significant impact on all aspects of the nation’s well-being. ADEPT represents members' interests by proactively engaging central Government on emerging policy & issues, promoting initiatives aimed at influencing Government policy and through the development of best practices and responding to European and UK Government initiatives and consultations. Our wider membership includes Local Enterprise Partnerships and Corporate Partners.

For more information on ADEPT please visit the website: