99.This is now our third report on air quality in five years. Our main recommendations for the Government in 2010 and 2011 were not implemented, prompting our third Inquiry in the hope that this time the Government will take this as seriously as we do. It is unacceptable that a whole generation of people living in our towns and cities could have their health seriously impaired by air pollution above EU limits before the Government brings this public health problem under control. It should not need a European court case to focus Government attention on air pollution.

100.Urgent change is needed in transport and planning policy to save lives and ensure that the UK meets European safety targets much sooner than the expected dates indicated by Defra. Air pollution is an invisible killer and a public health imperative. The challenge for policy makers is that no one single solution can solve this problem and no one single department has all the necessary levers. This change should start with the Government response to this report. A fresh approach is needed for the health challenge we face, coordinating action by local authorities and communities as well as the Government.

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Prepared 16 December 2014