Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones spoke today in a Commons debate on air quality praising the investment that will see a fleet of electric buses operating in his constituency.
The debate followed a High Court ruling which backed the Government on two out of three challenges by a pressure group but said the Government needed to take a stronger line with councils who have less severe air quality issues.
In the debate Mr Jones backed what he described as the Government’s ‘energy’ over the issue and called for that to be matched by local authorities across the country.
Replying, the Minister responsible, Dr Therese Coffey MP, thanked Mr Jones for securing funding for the Government’s clean air strategy during his time as a Treasury Minister. Under that strategy, she reported, those finances are being deployed to improve air quality.
Following the debate Mr Jones commented:
Poor air quality can be a killer. That is why I thought it important to speak about the issue in the Commons. I am pleased the government takes the issue seriously but some councils need to demonstrate greater urgency to sort out problem areas.
Locally, we are seeing action. Work begins at Bond End in Knaresborough on a new road layout designed to keep traffic moving and improve air quality shortly. This is good news and I am grateful to North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council for their thorough work on this.
I also wanted to highlight the great work being done by the TransDev team to make us the first low emissions bus town in the country.