Labour pledges commitment to making UK towns and cities more heart-healthy

11 August 2014        

Air pollution on motorway

Cutting air pollution levels will be at the heart of Labour’s election manifesto the party has announced today.

Cities and towns across the UK could be made more heart-friendly after Shadow Defra Minister Maria Eagle announced Labour intends to introduce a network of low emission zones if elected in 2015 in a bid to reduce air pollution levels.

Evidence shows exposure to high levels of pollution can exacerbate existing heart conditions and increase the risk of vulnerable people suffering a heart attack or being hospitalised with heart failure.

A consultation on the proposals will be launched at the end of this month.

The British Heart Foundation is funding important research into the links between air pollution and cardiovascular disease.

The effect of air pollution on heart patients can be severe, increasing both the likelihood of a heart attack and being hospitalised with heart failure


Our Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie, said: “Studies have shown that the effect of air pollution on heart patients can be severe, increasing both the likelihood of a heart attack and being hospitalised with heart failure.

“Protecting the public against this harmful pollution is paramount. Introducing low emission zones in cities and towns would be a step in the right direction and we welcome Labour’s commitment to tackling this serious public health issue.

“But today’s Government needs to take immediate action to improve air quality. We want every diesel vehicle, regardless of age, fitted with a diesel particulate filter which our research has shown reduces emissions of the particles most harmful to our hearts.”