This week I signed up to the pledges in The Times’ air pollution manifesto to give constituents in Lewisham East the right to clean air.
Everyone deserves to breathe clean air: it is appalling that more than 40 towns and cities have areas which exceed safe pollution limits set by the World Health Organisation.
The government must act and should bring forward the 2040 target for banning sales of new diesel and petrol to 2030 – which is already the target for China, India, Ireland and Norway.
Children are the most vulnerable to the effects of toxic air and we have a duty to ensure they are protected from harmful pollutants. Traffic bans outside schools at the start and end of the school day will help minimize our children’s exposure to air pollution and encourage more people to walk to school.
We also need to give people precise information from live local monitors about the level of air pollution near their homes so that people can be empowered.
Geraint Davies, Swansea West MP, who chairs the APPG on Air Pollution, will be presenting a new Clean Air Bill which I am supporting.
The proposed Clean Air Bill will ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2030, introduce temporary traffic bans outside schools and drop-off and pick-up times and deliver a legal right to clean air.
These are some of the long overdue steps we need to take at a national level to clean up our toxic air.