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Air pollution in the UK could be killing as many people as smoking does - MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee said.
Calling for the government to act to protect young and vulnerable people from the impact of air pollution by ensuring schools and hospitals are not build near main roads or motorways, MPs said public health must be prioritised over economic growth and had a number of recommendations.
- Air quality obligations should be included in new road building plans
- Legal loopholes that allow mechanics to remove engine filters from HGVs should be closed
- New measures to encourage drivers to move away from diesel should be examined
- A diesel scrappage scheme to help drivers switch to cleaner vehicles should be considered
- An independent inquiry should be established to look at what else is needed
- EU legislation on emission standards needs back up by testing
Current levels of air pollution across cities in the UK are at "crisis levels" and represent a "public health crisis" that the government must act on, Joan Walley, chair of the Environment Audit Committee has said.
Launching a scathing report that details the illegal levels of air pollution afflicting citizens in cities all over the country, she called for urgent action to stop the 60,000 deaths per year associated with poor air quality.
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It should be illegal to build schools, hospitals and care homes near busy roads because pollution is so dangerous, a group of MPs have said.