Mayor of London writes to Theresa May urging for air quality action

The Mayor of London has written to Theresa May to say that she has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the quality of the air in London and across the country when the government publishes its draft Air Quality Plan, which the High Court has ruled must be published by 24 April.

In his letter to the Prime Minister the Mayor calls on the government to introduce a national diesel scrappage fund so drivers who bought their diesels in good faith can swop their vehicles for cleaner ones.

Khan also urges the Theresa May to introduce ULEZ-style schemes in other towns and cities across the UK where they are needed.

He has also called for national policies to be changed, saying that Vehicle excise duty (VED) and other fiscal incentives continue to encourage the purchase of diesel cars.

Khan also proposes the development of a 21st Century Clean Air Act, which could provide the overarching framework for action. He believes this should provide a legally enforceable right to clean air for all citizens.

He also believes the government should introduce new powers to better regulate all emissions sources, not just road transport.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The government must play a full part if we are to protect the health of our fellow citizens and achieve legal air quality limits as quickly as possible. It is a national problem which requires national action, and the Prime Minister has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the quality of the air in the capital and across the country.

“I am doing all I can in London - but the only way we can make our lethal air safe is if the government commits to the major measures experts agree are necessary to tackle this incredibly serious issue.”

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