UK faces air quality fine

The European Commission is taking legal action against the UK over claims it is exceeding limits on air pollution from traffic. Britain has two months to respond to the case that it breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, which cause breathing and other health problems.

The UK’s highest court has already ruled that that air quality improvement plans put in place by the government would reach EU standards only by 2020 in most affected areas or in 2025 in London, 15 years after the original deadline. Britain faces fines of up to £300 million (€365 million) a year if the European Court of Justice finds it is in breach of its obligations under the Air Quality Directive.