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Too little, too late: message of environmentalists and cities to Gove's air clean-up plan

Lee Baker
27 July 2017

Government plans to tackle illegal air pollution have been immediately branded as inadequate by campaigners and local authorities, while they were slammed as too harsh by motoring groups.

Under the air quality plan, Local authorities will have to the end of next year to finalise plans to tackle nitrogen dioxide pollution on the 33 major roads outside London that are due to breach legal pollution limits and the Government will consult on measures to support affected motorists this autumn, including a scrappage scheme for "those most in need of support". Environmental law firm Client Earth, which took legal action because previous proposals were inadequate for tackling illegal levels of NO2, said in a response that the plan was "yet again, a plan for more plans...we still have until December 2018 before we have local authorities' proposals, but we have no idea when those plans would then be put in place or whether they'd be effective. The court ordered action by the UK to obey its own laws as soon as possible". 

Meanwhile, a number of the local authorities themselves, Birmingham, Leicester, Leeds, Liverpool, Oxford and Southampton, immediately wrote to the environment secretary Michael Gove to say that the plan "still lacks some specific actions that would enable us to meet the legal limits and establish safer air sooner rather than later," it was reported.

But motoring groups said the plans were unfair on those who would be "clobbered" by charges or face car bans if they could not switch vehicles and no compensation was forthcoming with a scrappage scheme, The Sun reported.


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