Wednesday, November 19, 2014


For Immediate Release

Campaign for Air Pollution Public Inquiry 
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today ruled that the UK government must take urgent action over its failure to tackle air pollution. Around 29,000 people die early in the UK each year as a result of air pollution – more than traffic accidents and passive smoking combined. The action was bought against the UK Government by Client Earth.

This landmark ruling, the ECJ’s first ever on the effect of the Air Quality Directive, will determine what action the UK courts take against the government. It will also set a groundbreaking legal precedent in EU law which could pave the way for a series of legal challenges across Europe where governments are failing to protect people from air pollution.

The directive requires member states which have failed to meet air quality limits to draw up plans to achieve them in the "shortest time possible". However, UK government plans will not meet nitrogen dioxide limits until after 2030 - 20 years after the original deadline. 

Diesel fumes are the main source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - a harmful gas linked with heart attacks and asthma

The Ruling can be seen here and states that the UK Supreme Court must take action to enforce air quality limits

Where a Member State has not complied with the limit values and has not applied for a
postponement of the deadline in accordance with the prescribed conditions, it is for the competent
national court, should a case be brought before it, to take, with regard to the national authority, any
necessary measure, such as an order in the appropriate terms, so that the authority establishes
the plan required by the directive to ensure, in particular, that the period during which the limit
values are exceeded is as short as possible.
Members of both Houses of Parliament call for an urgent public inquiry into air pollution in the UK
Last week John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington sent a letter to the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee calling for an Public Inquiry into air pollution in the UK.
The letter, signed by 25 MP’s and Peers, was drafted by the Campaign for an Air Pollution Public Inquiry expressing growing concern at the insufficient action from Government and other agencies on this issue and calls for meaningful action to be taken to stop the thousands of deaths from air pollution each year.
The Government has failed to implement many of the recommendations of the Environmental Audit Committee's previous report of 2011 which urged government to take immediate action. Numerous expert studies including a recent World Health Organisation Report have confirmed thousands of people throughout the UK are dying from Air Pollution.
The letter expresses concern that Government and Local Authorities have failed to implement effective Air Quality Strategies and that the EU will be forced to consider what action is to be taken for breaches of air pollution standards by the UK.
John McDonnell MP has today said:
‘In support of the Campaign for an air pollution public inquiry we are calling for urgent action from the Government in tackling the horrendous levels of air pollution in the UK. As is consistently shown from expert reports and campaigning groups, the dangerous levels of pollution in this country is having disastrous consequences for our communities.  Despite the UK having one of the worst records of any European country for exceeding EU air pollution limits our Government has failed to take meaningful action. I support petitioners in calling for an inquiry in order to expose and overcome the obstacles which have been preventing action on this critical issue and to outline what needs to be done. ‘
Dave Davies of the Campaign for an Air Pollution Public Inquiry said:
’The Campaign for Air Pollution Public Inquiry is extremely pleased with the significant number of  MPs and Members of the House of Lords who are supporting the call for an urgent Public Inquiry into the thousands of deaths from air pollution so that the cause can be established and proper action taken to reduce pollution. It is of serious concern that the Government and some leading politicians , including the Mayor of London have chosen to ignore the situation or worse still make claims that they have taken steps to reduce pollution , when in fact the air quality measurements clearly show that there has been no improvement in air quality and in fact the emissions per vehicle has actually got worse. It was recently confirmed by leading scientists that Oxford street is one of the most polluted streets in the world. Thousands of deaths continue each year because of the current and previous failed air quality strategies.

Supporters are signing an  ePetition -



I'm Spartacus said...

It seems To me TFL that the net is closing in on the spin and gesture politics that you have inflicted on the cab trade.

It may have been easy to get the agreement of stooges who represent no one but themselves as they decline even today to consult their memberships or even reveal what they agreed on the memberships behalf.

You will now no doubt be aware that both the editorial team or the readership of TaxiLeaks are not so gullible.

Gerald Coba said...

Another good day of I formative and gritty trade journalism
Jimmy, well done to you and your team who give us the real stories behind the smoke and mirrors we see in other trade media.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't believe my eyes yesterday reading from LCDC time line
Their beloved leader saying there should be 40,000 black cabs in London and that not enough work nights

Do you really thing this guy has his finger on the problem...I shit you not.

More cabs on night work, you couldn't make it up!

I drive round most nights including Saturdays looking at people,e with blank expressions on their faces staring at their phones, waiting for a cheapo

Every street you turn into is a mass of orange lights and this muppet wants another 15,000 more out there.

Jack from Mons said...

I feel your pain anon, it gets to me too

These drives love a sound bite as if they have uncovered to truth for the first time
Ie, not enough taxis on nights
Not enough cab drivers work the week end
Too many part timers
Too many old gits
Yellow badges stealing the work
Drivers not going south
Drivers refusing credit cards

All these sound bites and yet the miss completely the real problems

Trade not united
No enforcement of PH
72,000 PHVs
Not enough rank spaces
Ranks in wrong place
Complaints against PH not handled by TfL
Operators and satellite office licenses for cash
Trade orgs bought off

But then again we do like to slag ourselves off rather than the scabs, who most drivers are frightened of.

Ginger Nutt said...

Are ever with these trade org head honcho's, they become what they said they were going to change!

The only street they work is Easy Street!

Time for change there methinks, very unhealthy having long term holders of these positions, I would have a rule about it.