London, 20 Sep 2001.
For immediate release.

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ABD Condemns Government's Latest Pointless Attack On Car Users
At a time when one would expect the government to have more important issues to deal with, environment minister Michael Meacher yesterday announced the government's latest attack on cars. Local authorities are expected to halve the level of particulate emissions, and Mr Meacher has made it clear that he expects them to do this by restricting car use.

Predictably there is no mention of tackling the major cause of particulate emissions, namely the ageing fleet of diesel buses which are, incredibly, still exempt from emissions testing. The National Environment Technology Centre has shown that on average a diesel engined bus emits 128 times as much particulate pollution as a petrol engined car.

ABD Environment Spokesman, Bernard Abrams, commented:

"Modern cars are not the major source of pollution they are portayed to be, and many clean the air they drive through. If the government wants to cut the relatively small amount of pollution from private cars, they should take action to get our towns and cities moving again, by forcing councils to remove congestion causing measures and ensuring that adequate parking is provided.

They might also like to take a leaf out of the Delhi book on tackling outdoor pollution - diesel engined public transport vehicles have been banned from the Indian city.

Equally predictably the alarmingly high levels of indoor pollution have been ignored once more, presumably as there is no social control or tax-take available. Dr Jeff Llewellyn of the Government Buildings Research Establishment laboratories has found that the air in the average UK home is 10 times more polluted than city smog, but there is neither rhetoric nor remedy from Meacher."

Abrams concludes:
"We would like to see the Government getting its priorities right: indoor air quality is a far more pressing issue, and bus pollution controls are the sensible way to make substantial improvements on particulate pollution levels outdoors. As the Transport Research Laboratory has stated clearly (1), restrictions on cars on air quality grounds are not warranted."
 

(1) Conclusion in Report TRL 431

 

Notes for Editors