First Minister’s Questions 24th May 2016 – Air Pollution in Newport

14:23 Question 9 Air Pollution

Jayne Bryant

What plans does the Welsh Government have to tackle air pollution in Wales? OAQ(5)0008(FM)

Carwyn Jones Y Prif Weinidog / The First Minister

We’re drawing up proposals to refresh the system of local air quality management in Wales, and public services boards have a key role in ensuring that.

Jayne Bryant

The World Health Organization reported that urban air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, and listed Newport among the top five in Wales. With air pollution a public health issue, we know that large spikes in air pollution come during times of traffic congestion. Can the First Minister reassure my constituents that effective measures will be taken to relieve congestion coming through Newport on the M4?

Carwyn Jones Y Prif Weinidog / The First Minister

Yes, we know that congestion is a daily problem on the M4 and the Brynglas tunnels. It isn’t going to go away. It does need to be addressed, and it is a significant cause of air pollution as cars idle, both in the tunnels and waiting to go into the tunnels. That does have, of course, a detrimental effect on air quality. So, removing those traffic jams will be hugely important in improving air quality in the future.