Road transport accounts for a significant portion of air pollution in cities and towns, causing serious pollution problems like carbon monoxide and smog. Due to the increase in the use of private cars, road traffic pollution is considered a major threat to clean air in the UK and other industrialised countries. Traffic fumes contain harmful chemicals that pollute the atmosphere. Road traffic emissions produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Local authorities can reduce pollution by using their traffic control powers. For example, they have a duty to monitor the level of traffic on their roads and set traffic reduction targets. They can make Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Other traffic calming measures, such as the creation of traffic gateways into busy urban areas, can reduce traffic-related air pollution.
In areas where air pollution is high, known as Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA), local authorities can carry out random roadside tests on vehicles. If you see a smoky vehicle on the road and are concerned about it, please call the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) of the Department of Transport on 08706060440.
You can also reduce traffic pollution by maintaining your car carefully and using it less.