TramForward welcomes Government call for action on Non-Exhaust Emissions

News Press Release

TramForward welcomes the Government’s belated acknowledgment of the problem of traffic pollution from non-exhaust sources – tyres, road surfaces and brakes.

This has been prompted by a new report published on 11th July by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) calling for urgent action to address the problem which is predicted to account for 10 per cent of national emissions of PM 2.5 by 2030.

TramForward has been warning of this problem, often referred to as the “Oslo Effect” after the location of early research on the problem, for several years now.

TramForward believes that one significant way to reduce the problem on busy urban roads is to accelerate the adoption of tram and light rail systems. This would lead to a reduction in the numbers of rubber-tyred vehicles – both cars and buses. Trams running on steel wheels on steel rails and using regenerative braking would cut the level of particulate pollution on heavily trafficked roads.

Jim Harkins, Chair of the TramForward Campaigns Group, said “This report makes quite clear the dangerously high level of non-exhaust emissions created in urban areas by buses and goods vehicles as well as cars. Trams, with minimal pollution at point of use and with their high modal switch from cars, are a major tool for the reduction of NEE pollution, along with street washing along the polluted corridors as recommended in the report. We call upon Government to include Non Exhaust Emissions in all Air Quality legislation”.


1. The LRTA ( is the world’s leading organisation campaigning for better public transport in urban areas through light rail, tramway and metro systems and has been in existence for more than 80 years. It also supports the revitalisation of suburban and rural transport through the application of light rail and TramTrain technology.