With the news that in London a nine-year-old girl’s fatal asthma attack has been linked to illegally high levels of air pollution, coupled with new research showing that air pollution is also a major cause of type 2 diabetes, it is clear that immediate action must be taken to improve the quality of the air that we breathe.

The Conservative government has repeatedly been criticised by the courts for failing to produce an adequate plan to tackle the growing problem of air pollution, with the high court ruling that the government’s current policy on air pollution was “unlawful”.

 The air quality in Worcester is not as bad as in London, however we know that our roads are highly congested at certain times of the day and that the main cause of air pollution in the city is from vehicles, especially diesels.

Worcestershire County Council has made huge cuts to bus subsidies and closed the park and ride. As recently reported, this has resulted in a major drop in bus journeys and almost certainly created more congestion and therefore more pollution. Politicians from all parties talk about tackling poor air quality, but I am afraid that Robin Walker and his Conservative government have failed to take the necessary action to make a real difference.To make the air in Worcester cleaner and thus make it safer for us all to live a healthy life, especially children, the elderly and asthma sufferers, we need to reduce the number of polluting vehicles in Worcester.

In order to do this we need to offer viable alternatives to the car: more walking to school (don’t cut school crossing patrols); decent cycle infrastructure; better bus services.

The Conservatives are failing in all these areas. We need a green alternative.

Matthew Jenkins

Worcestershire County Councillor for St Stephen