Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Government Is Failing on Killer Toxic Air, Say Voters; EXCLUSIVE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Government Is Failing on Killer Toxic Air, Say Voters; EXCLUSIVE

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil Deputy Political Editor

MINISTERS were back in the dock today over the failure to tackle Britain's toxic air scandal.

Only weeks after Theresa May published her plans to clean up filthy air: Environmental lawyers ClientEarth launched a third court action over the proposals, which they still deem deeply flawed.

An exclusive poll showed an overwhelming margin of voters say the Government is being too weak on the dirty air crisis.

And campaigners warned the death toll from tiny particulate pollution in London so far this year will go above 1,000 tomorrow.

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom was recently forced to publish a draft air quality plan after the High Court rejected Government claims that general election "purdah" rules meant it should be delayed.

ClientEarth today dismissed a consultation on the proposals as flawed, arguing it does not promote measures which the Government's own technical data shows are more effective at dealing with toxic air, such as clean air zones with charges for polluting vehicles.

Its chief executive James Thornton said: "The law requires the final plan to bring air pollution down to legal levels in the shortest time possible. These flaws seriously jeopardise that timetable."

Separately, a survey by Opinium Research found 50 per cent of adults believe the Government has not done enough to cut air pollution, while only 14 per cent think it has.

Eight per cent believe ministers have gone too far, while 28 per cent "don't know or are not sure". In London, 61 per cent say the Government is not taking adequate steps.

The draft plan outlined a scrappage scheme which could take 9,000 diesel and 6,000 petrol cars off the road by offering motorists up to PS8,000 to upgrade to a cleaner model. But more than six out of 10 adults believe it would have little or no impact, while 22 per cent said it would have a huge or considerable effect.

The plan also put the spotlight on councils, and City Hall in London, to combat dirty air. …

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