A recent report from the World Health Organisation found that billions of people in urban communities are being exposed to lethal levels of toxic air from polluting vehicles on our streets. Pollution from diesel exhausts increase asthma and infection, whilst tiny tyre particles can penetrate deep inside the body, harming our lungs and cardiovascular system.

This is a global crisis, which requires local action. The majority of people in the West Midlands live near to high risk pollution hotspots - major transport axes such as railway stations or depots, main roads, busy junctions, airports and flight paths.

This places large numbers of our children, our senior citizens and our unwell friends and family in danger. The risks are also high for people we know who spend every day on the roadside - e.g. street cleaners, refuse workers and taxi drivers. Around 40 thousand people are dying every year and millions are at home on their sick bed or in hospital.

This is an entirely avoidable problem, which Government, in London, is doing nothing about. What would you do to make a positive difference and how do you think the new Metro Mayor should help - increase awareness about the dangers of air pollution; protect us by banning dirty vehicles; and/or give incentives for more people to use public transport, walk or cycle?

Perhaps, if you live in a more rural area of the West Midlands, you would prefer the Mayor to concentrate on one of the following to create a clean and sustainable West Midlands:

  • repair our homes so that they are dry, warm and peaceful places to live
  • invest in clean parks and open spaces
  • provide better recycling and waste collection
  • improve our broadband services

We want to hear from you - please post your thoughts below or take part in our survey

Hugh Goldbourne