New research has suggested that UK transport planners are not accounting enough for environmental factors when making choices. Road transport is currently the principal cause of air pollution in more than 95 per cent of designated Air Quality Management Areas, and around 50,000 deaths each year can be attributed to affected air according to the latest estimates. However, despite considerable policy and practise activities since the 1995 Environment Act _ which committed the UK to improving air-quality _ real-time measurements show that little has actually improved. The research from the Royal Geographical Society showed that according to internationally-accepted standards, there has been little increase. Dr Tim Chatterton and Professor Graham Parkhurst, both of whom work for the University of the West of England in Bristol, reviewed findings from a range of different projects in order to try and identify why air pollution from road transport has shown so little reduction across the previous two decades. The underlying research applied a number of analytical methods, including in-depth analysis of local authority approaches of managing air quality, evaluating government data taken from MOT tests, analysis of longitudinal air quality data and analysing various studies taken by the Department of Transport into both people's attitudes and their transport choices. One of the most interesting statistics showed that despite pollution accounting for 15 to 30 more times the annual number of deaths than road traffic accidents (RTAs), the latter still receives far more attention from transport planners. Air pollution, meanwhile, is still a shared priority rather between the Department for Transport and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Professor Parkhurst said: 'Air pollution is perhaps the grossest manifestation of a general failure of UK transport planning to take the environmental impacts of transport choices sufficiently into account. "Currently air pollution is a shared priority between Defra and DfT, but shared priority does not mean equal priority. Environmental managers only identify and monitor the problems. Insufficient relevant priority has been given within the sector responsible for most relevant emissions _ transport policy and planning _ which has instead prioritised safety and economic growth.î