13 May 2017
Peter Underwood, Green Party candidate for Croydon North, is working with the Croydon Friends of the Earth group to measure air pollution across Croydon.
We are facing an air pollution emergency. Around 10,000 people dying every year in London due to filthy air and studies have shown that our children’s lungs are being irreversibly damaged by the pollution they breathe in. Successive governments have ignored this problem and even though the Mayor of London has said he wants to tackle air pollution his plans only affect inner London. In Croydon we are being left to choke.
In the last century the government brought in a Clean Air Act to tackle the smog that blighted Londoners lives. Many groups, including Friends of the Earth and the Green Party, are calling for a new Clean Air Act for the 21st century to tackle the invisible pollution that is killing people today.
Everyone has the right to breathe clean air and a clean air act would enshrine that in law. Britain could become a world leader in new technologies which help us clean up our air. The Government must also plough resources into decent public transport - reversing years of underinvestment and skyrocketing fare prices. Driving a car shouldn’t be cheaper than taking the bus, tram, or train.
Peter Underwood, Green Party candidate for Croydon North, said:
“We’ve seen catastrophic failure on air pollution from a Government trying it’s best to shirk its responsibilities. The Tory government had to be taken to court to force it to publish a plan to tackle filthy air and they then tried to sneak it out on the same day as the local election results were announced. It’s not surprising they are so ashamed of their plan – it’s an action plan without any real action. They clearly think that real action on pollution wouldn’t go down well with their friends in the oil and motor industry. For them keeping votes is more important than saving lives.”
“We know the air we breathe in Croydon is very poor and it’s going to get even worse once the Beddington Incinerator starts up later this year. I’ve been working with the Croydon Friends of the Earth group to find out how bad the problem is now before the incinerator starts. We have put up pollution monitoring tubes all over Croydon – in places like the shops in Crystal Palace, outside Stanley Halls, on residential roads in Thornton Heath, and near schools where our children spend their days.”
“The monitoring tubes will stay up during May and we will get the results in the summer. I’ll use this evidence to push Croydon Council, the Mayor of London, and national government to take real action for the sake of our health.”