London mayor tells Government to 'get a grip' on pollution problems
07 November 2016
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to "get a grip" on London's air quality issues.
The mayor's uncompromising stance follows on from the Government's High Court defeat last week, which found it had broken the law by failing to tackle illegal levels of air pollution.
Khan, who was elected as mayor in May, has written to the secretary of state Andrea Leadsom calling for urgent action and law changes, including:
. A national diesel scrappage scheme in order to help phase out what Khan calls the 'dirty' vehicles, which would also make it more affordable for businesses and motorists to convert to cleaner vehicles.
. VED reforms to make purchasing diesel vehicles less attractive.
. Greater funding for the mayoral team and London boroughs to combat air quality problems along strategic roads that fall within London's boundaries. Khan said the extra funding - which would come from Londoners' VED revenues - would then free up Transport for London resources to be spent on other anti-pollution measures within the capital.
. A 'clean air act' that would provide a legally enforceable right to clean air, along with new powers to better regulate the sources of emissions.
"After years of failure we now need the Government to get a grip and face up to their responsibilities rather than pass the buck to me and [London's] boroughs," Khan said.
"We need action now to protect Londoners and people all across the UK from breathing in toxic fumes. The Government has been seriously complacent about this health emergency for the last six years and now is the time for them to stop gambling with our health and show real leadership."