AIR QUALITY: Gwynne backs new Bill

speaking in chamberMP Andrew Gwynne MP has come out in support of the Air Quality (Diesel Emissions in Urban Centres) Bill, which will receive its first reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday 23rd February.

The Bill comes as Volkswagen have been caught installing devices to cheat emissions testing so that cars have twenty times more deadly emissions than claimed.

The Bill is supported by the British Lung and Heart Foundations, along with many MPs.

The diesel epidemic is affecting unborn babies, reducing children’s lung capacity, causing asthma and impairing physical and mental development.

The Bill will improve urban air quality by:

  1. Ensuring vehicle emissions-testing in 2017 reflects on-road driving conditions, and by developing MOT tests to both test emissions and detect “cheating devices
  2. Extending low emissions zones and pedestrianisation
  3. Restriction of diesel vehicles that fail Euro 5 emissions standards from urban centres
  4. Providing green public transport systems, including electric tram systems, LPG, hydrogen-powered or electric buses and taxis.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“This Bill aims to save billions of pounds and thousands of lives. The Chancellor should also reflect emissions in fuel duty and road tax in the Budget.

“Public services must take the harm caused by air pollution into account through local tools such as planning policies, equalities impact assessments and joint strategic needs assessments.”

Each year in the UK, around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution. It plays a role in many of the major health challenges of our day and has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and changes linked to dementia.

Neither the concentration limits set by government nor the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines define levels of exposure that are entirely safe for the whole population.

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