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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Air quality consultation: Government plan is not fit for purpose say Green MEPs

16 June 2017

UK Green MEPs Jean Lambert, Keith Taylor and Molly Scott Cato, have submitted a consultation response to the UK’s revised air quality plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities. (1)

You can read the full Green submission here.

The submission found that the Government’s proposed measures and the plan in general was not fit for purpose:

The Government’s Draft Air Quality Plan, reluctantly released in May 2017 following a court order, rests on 2 main approaches. Increasing road building projects and investing in the acceleration of electric vehicle technology. The Government has stated that these measures will bring about the necessary reductions in Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) to bring the Country in line with the maximum permitted levels.

The main issues with the Government’s plan are the lack of details about how the measures will be implemented, but also some of the approaches to tackling the levels of air pollution. The plan talks about increasing the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles, allocating funding to electric and hydrogen vehicle development, to provide support to tackle congestion on the roads and ensure the UK’s local and strategic roads and public transport networks are fit for purpose. The UK government aims to tackle the issue of air pollution from road transport by getting people to buy new cars and by investing in road building. It states that road transport is a key part of almost everything we do. The Government is not committing to changing the status quo. These approaches are fundamentally flawed and will likely make the problem worse in the long run.

This is not a plan capable of addressing the fact that 90% of urban areas have experienced illegal levels of NO2 since 2010. It is not a plan capable of preventing the premature death of some 12,000 from NO2 pollution every year. It is a plan that is not fit for purpose.

You can read the full Green submission here.

(1) For more information about the Defra/DfT consultation, see: