The Green Party is calling for an emergency intervention into air pollution in Wandsworth ahead of publication of the Government’s draft air quality plan.
The call comes after a court ordered that the Government could not delay publishing the plan until after the general election.
Green Party candidate Ben Fletcher is standing in Putney, home to one of the capital’s pollution hotspots, and said the Government needed to focus more on developing a plan to tackle pollutants.
“The residents of Wandsworth are all too aware of the impact dirty air has on our quality of life and our health,” said Mr Fletcher.
“The government should be taking urgent action to tackle air pollution, not fighting to keep its plans a secret.”
Putney High Street, which breached the safe annual air pollution limit five days in to this year, has been the focus of attempts by London mayor Sadiq Khan to increase air quality.
New rules mean all buses using the high street are now subject to stricter rules on emissions as part of a plan to make it London’s first Low Emission Bus Zone.
The scheme was criticised after it was found that, due to delays in the delivery of new buses, older, more polluting buses were shifted on to other routes in south London as opposed to being taken off the road completely.
Air pollution is estimated to kill 40,000 people per year in the UK, 9,000 of them in London.
“The Green Party is the only party committed to taking immediate action on air pollution, with investment in cycling, walking, electric vehicles and public transport,” said Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader.
“We’d also properly fund and expand the Clean Air Zone network and introduce a Vehicle Excise Duty for new diesel vehicles alongside a diesel scrappage scheme.”
Featured image courtesy of Jonathan Callaway, with thanks
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