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Government must take real action to improve air quality

April 23, 2009 12:59 PM

Susan Kramer, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston this week travelled to Strasbourg to raise concerns about air quality in London.

The MP was joined by Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat MEP for London, for a meeting with EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas to discuss the EU Air Quality Directive.

Despite promising that it could expand Heathrow airport without needing an extension from the limits, the Government is to ask for a five year derogation until 2015.

Susan Kramer MP commented:

"London has some of the worst pollution levels in Europe. The Commissioner made it clear that even if the derogation is granted, the Government will have to come up with really convincing plans to clean up our air.

"As yet we have seen no realistic plans to tackle air quality. Greener planes that have not been designed and greener cars that have not been built will not solve this problem.

"The go ahead for a third runway at Heathrow means that meeting the targets looks even less likely. But the longer the Government delays taking real action, the more the health of Londoners suffers."

Sarah Ludford MEP commented:

"In a most productive meeting sparked by Susan Kramer MP's valuable visit, Commissioner Dimas once again showed his commitment to the enforcement of European laws on protecting people against pollution.

"He has an impressive grasp of the specific issues around expansion at Heathrow and London airports in general.

"I was reassured that Londoners can rely on the Commission to stand up for them and not let any government pull the wool over their eyes."