Bishop of St Albans asks Government about air pollution and asthma

On 6th January 2015 Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what plans the National Health Service has to reduce the number of premature deaths caused by the combined impact of nitrogen dioxide and fine particles emitted by diesel engines’. The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, with 4.3 million adults and 1.1 million children suffering from the effects of asthma-related conditions, does the Minister agree that we need to look closely at the World Health Organization’s recent news that an increasing number of British cities are now breaching the safe air pollution levels?

In particular, does he agree that we might encourage other cities to follow the example of London, which is now developing a low emission zone for both vehicles and industry, as a way of trying to mitigate some of the huge cost of around £1 billion a year of treating asthma conditions in this country?

Lord De Mauley: I agree with the right reverend Prelate. He will be pleased to know that we are working with local authorities on the feasibility and design of low emission zones and we have provided guidance such as on which vehicles should be covered and what emissions standards they should meet. The right reverend Prelate might like to know that, in addition to London, Oxford, Norwich and Brighton have already introduced low emission zones and other cities are considering them.


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