MPs' plan to cut air pollution near schools rejected by Government

Ministers said filters could be fitted to ventilation systems to 'provide cleaner air'

Ian Johnston
Sunday 01 March 2015 01:00
Comments
Air pollution in London has reached illegally high levels
Air pollution in London has reached illegally high levels

A generation of children will grow up with their lives blighted by illegally high levels of air pollution after the Government rejected proposals to protect schools in the worst affected areas, MPs claim.

With air pollution thought to be killing up to 60,000 people a year, a committee of MPs came up with a plan last December to tackle the problem. But in its response published today, the Government rejected most of their main recommendations.

Joan Walley, the Labour MP who chairs the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “This was an opportunity for the Government to pledge decisive action to cut the air pollution, thought to be killing nearly as many people in the UK as smoking.

“But ministers have once again failed to face up to the problem and instead passed the buck to the next government. We have been warning that urgent action is needed for the past five years. While this Government accepted that there is a problem, it has repeatedly failed to take the decisions necessary to sort it out.”

The committee had asked the Government to “make it impossible to build new schools, care homes or health clinics near existing air pollution hot spots” by changing planning laws.

But in their response, ministers said there was no need for additional planning rules. They pointed out that filters can be fitted to schools’ ventilation systems to “provide cleaner air”.

The committee’s calls for taxes on diesel vehicles designed to reduce air pollution were also rejected, but the Government said it would consider setting up a network of low-emission zones to improve air quality.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in