THERE are new calls for the Government to prioritise people’s health and improve air quality.

Brighton and Hove City Council has signed up to Oxford City Council’s Charter for Cleaner Air.

The charter outlines ten steps for the Government to tackle air pollution, including more investments in public transport and removing the most polluting vehicles from the roads.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Air pollution is now recognised as the UK’s largest environmental risk to public health, contributing to heart and respiratory diseases and lung cancer.

“We are determined to improve air quality in the city and have already taken steps to tackle air pollution, including investing in low emission public transport, developing electric vehicle infrastructure and improving pedestrian and cycle links.

“Signing Oxford City Council’s Charter for Cleaner Air demonstrates our ongoing commitment to improving air quality for our residents.

“As a council, we can only do so much and I urge the Government to make this issue a priority and work with us to improve air quality for our communities.”

Oxford city councillor Tom Hayes said: “It’s truly fantastic news that Brighton and Hove City Council has signed up to Oxford’s Cleaner Air Charter.

“Local authorities can only do so much within the legislative and funding framework set by Government and standing together, two councils in the South East of England are telling the Environment Secretary very loudly and clearly that we need more money and stronger powers to achieve the cleanest air for everyone in our communities.”

The council has already taken steps to reduce pollution.

This includes funding for low and zero emission buses, improving junctions and expanding the Low Emission Zone.

In the next few months, 200 new electric vehicle charging points will be installed across the city.

The council signed the charter on October 9.