‘Shocking and reckless’: Harmful air quality challenges Heathrow decision say London politicians

Life-threatening air is putting Londoners at severe risk, calling into question last week’s Heathrow expansion decision, says Green Party London Assembly member Caroline Russell.

Wednesday’s High Court snub of the government’s air quality improvement plans revealed the government’s failing attempts to tackle dangerous levels of air pollution across the UK.

Some ministers and officials have claimed this ought to challenge last week’s decision to award Heathrow a third runway.

Ms Russell said: “Quite clearly the High Court decision brings into question all of the assumptions that were made by the government in the Heathrow decision.

“The government have been shocking and reckless. People are suffering, there are reports of children growing with stunted lungs.”

Following the Heathrow expansion decision and resulting by-election in Richmond, south west London has become a focal point in pollution concerns.

The Green Party decided to back Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Olney against Zac Goldsmith today.

Ms Russell said: “The Lib Dems are in broad agreement with us about cleaning up our air.

“At this time we are thinking about a different kind of politics, finding common ground on important issues.”

Croydon-based green technology company Dearman also hope to be part of the common ground, having won the government’s SME Innovation award on October 26.

Michael Ayres, deputy CEO of Dearman said: “Following the recent High Court ruling on air quality we all know the challenge that London faces to reduce harmful diesel pollution from the air we breathe.

“We are developing a range of applications which can provide efficient and cost effective alternatives to diesel engines, without any of the harmful NOx or particulates.”

On the day the Heathrow decision was announced transport secretary Chris Grayling told the House the decision was in the best interest of the country and would bolster its economy.

He said: “In politics you have to do what is right. Not all of us get it right all the time but I am doing what I feel is right for this country.”

Image courtesy of David Holt, with thanks

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