Ministers need to take responsibility for the effects of pollution on public health

The scandal over rigged tests by car manufacturers is entirely consistent with their past record (“Corporate cheating kills. It must be stopped”, leading article). In the 1980s, the battle to remove lead from petrol and to fit catalytic converters was vigorously opposed by the motor industry, which raised all sorts of technical problems that turned out to be groundless. Even so, both measures were passed by a Tory government under Margaret Thatcher. Nowadays, the Department for Transport emerges as a complicit partner in the rigging of tests, while Defra and the Department of Health seem to have abandoned completely their role as guardians of public health. Margaret Thatcher had a science degree from Oxford University. I’m not sure that this cabinet has a scientific qualification between them.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Former chair, Campaign for Lead-Free Air
Stoke Poges

Notwithstanding the efforts by British government ministers to block air pollution legislation and the recent revelations about VW’s trickery, surely the simplest answer is better public transport using electrical traction (“Revealed: documents show how British ministers tried to block European moves to clean up the air quality of our polluted cities”, News).

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Source: Guardian Environment