Peter Whittle, UKIP’s London mayoral candidate has expressed his unequivocal support for a public enquiry into Nitrogen Dioxide and air pollution in general and pledged that that if elected he will ensure that a Londonwide enquiry is instigated. Mr Whittle echoed the concerns of London parents who in a recent YouGov poll rated air pollution as the biggest threat to their children saying:
"Air pollution is London's greatest public health challenge. It's time politicians moved from rhetoric to practical measures. It's literally a matter of life and death for thousands of Londoners."
Whittle went on to say that if elected his London wide enquiry would include an investigation into the full impact of air pollution on the health of Londoners particularly children, the elderly and the chronically ill.
“I am ready to take the lead in ensuring that all Londoners can breathe clean air unlike the other establishment parties, UKIP are not about rhetoric, but action. Only a UKIP administration in London will bring immediate and radical counter pollution policies”
Andrew Charalambous, UKIP Housing and Environment spokesman described as "scandalous" the ongoing failure of the political establishment to address the issue of nitrogen dioxide levels in London.
Mr Charalambous went on to commend the tireless efforts of David Davies of the Campaign for Air Pollution Public Inquiry; in bringing to public attention the economic and health impact of our country’s excessive levels of air pollution. Charalambous said he fully supported Mr Davies’ calls for a national enquiry, but added “that is only the starting point”.
“The Government needs to be held to account for failing to address this mammoth public health issue, which is causing countless unnecessary deaths, exacerbating allergies and leading to serious respiratory conditions. At a time when our NHS is so starved of resources it is ludicrous that we are compounding the burden by refusing to deal with unacceptably high nitrogen dioxide levels.
“Studies demonstrate that nitrogen dioxide can cause inflammation of the lungs, trigger asthma and bronchitis, increase risk of heart attack and stroke, lower birth weight and smaller head circumference in babies. London has the highest nitrogen dioxide levels of any city in Europe.
“We urgently need to incentivise the use of cleaner diesel in our fuel pumps and ensure that all new vehicles sold in the UK are installed with catalysts and other devices which make diesel exhaust fumes significantly safer. The truth is tens of thousands of people not only in London but across the country are subject to unacceptable levels of air pollution on a daily basis.
“UKIP pledge to do whatever it takes to tackle an obstinate political establishment and bring real changes to UK air pollution policy.
“Only UKIP, not even the Green Party are committed to protecting every inch of Britain’s countryside from residential development. In so doing we will preserve thousands of trees which are the most natural form of nitrogen dioxide capture. Without which the gravity of UK air pollution would be even worse.”