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Green campaigners urge Government to follow Khan's pollution-busting lead

Date: 07 July 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Environmental campaigners have called on the Government to 'step up its game' and follow the new London mayor's lead in aiming to curb vehicle pollution.

The comments come after Sadiq Khan set out a raft of proposals, including expanding the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, introducing the ULEZ a year early in 2019, lobbying the Government to introduce a diesel scrapage scheme and charging owners of the most polluting vehicles £10 a day to enter the centre of the capital.

"The announcement should send a clear message to the UK Government that an ambitious and bold Clean Air Act is needed for the whole country," said ClientEarth lawyer, Alan Andrew. "The Government must now up its game so that the whole country can breathe cleaner air."

ClientEarth is also taking the Government to the High Court over "its failures on air pollution", something the mayor is directly involved with."ClientEarth's legal challenges are holding the Government to account on air pollution and as the mayor of the biggest city in the country Sadiq Khan very much considers himself an interested party in the judicial review. He will be setting out how and when he intends to take action on air pollution in the coming weeks," said a spokesman for the mayor in May.

"Road traffic is the biggest problem for air pollution and diesel vehicles are the worst of all - which is why calls for a new Clean Air Act must include the phasing out of diesel," said Jenny Bates, Friends Of The Earth's air pollution campaigner.  "Diesel fumes and air pollution cause lung cancer. 40,000 people die early in the UK each year from dirty air and many more lives, including huge numbers of children, are blighted by asthma and lung infections."

"Sadiq Khan's call for a diesel scrappage scheme is a great start to help reduce dirty diesel fumes but to save lives, we must look to both phase out diesel and reduce traffic to make the air we breathe safer," Bates added.