53. A year and a half since our predecessor Committee's
report was published and nearly a year since the Government response,
we have received no meaningful evidence to suggest that progress
towards meeting air quality targets has improved. Most of the
measures set out in the Government's response are yet to be bought
in. There is nothing to suggest that the Government's approach,
to shift responsibility to local authorities, will achieve the
results required. In the meantime the evidence on the impacts
of poor air quality is stacking up and we are failing, and coming
closer to failing, more EU limit value targets.
54. It is estimated that around 4,000 people
died as a result of the Great Smog of London in 1952.
That led to the introduction of the Clean Air Act in 1956. In
2008, 4,000 people died in London from air pollution and 30,000
died across the whole of the UK. The Government needs to act now,
as Government did in the 1950s, to save the health of the nation.
72 Qq 15, 16 Back