Jenny Bates, Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner, has responded to the government’s response today on the action they are taking on air quality.
“Despite the mounting evidence of the dangers people face having to breathe our illegally dirty air, the government is refusing to take the bold action needed to cut the 40,000 early deaths from air pollution each year in the UK.
“Road traffic is the biggest problem for air pollution and diesel is the worst of all. We urgently need the government to put in place a plan to phase out diesel from our roads. A carefully-designed scrappage scheme would be an important step to help people switch away from dirty diesel vehicles – but the government has today rejected this vital recommendation.
“We also need to have Clean Air Zones in all our cities and major towns so that everyone, no matter where they live can breathe easier, but the government is not providing funding other than for the five already planned – nor are they responding to the call to make it easier from local authorities to constrain new traffic-generating developments which would add to air pollution.
“Whilst politicians might talk big on air pollution, today the Government has shown that it is unwilling to take the action necessary to save lives.”