According to a leading government advisor, the plans to promote electric vehicles in the UK do not go far enough to tackle air pollution.
Professor Frank Kelly has said that the key to tackling the air pollution problem in the UK is having fewer cars on the roads, not just cleaner cars and that London should lead the way in promoting non-polluting transport policies.
Currently, electric cars produce particulates from their tyres and brakes which are linked to serious health problems.
Last week, the government unveiled its strategy for tackling illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air. With the key element of the strategy being a promise to end the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars by the year 2040.
The government also said there would be a number of significant investments in ultra-low emission vehicles, with some £600m going into the development and manufacture of such vehicles by 2020.
But according to Frank Kelly, who is a professor of environmental health a Kings College London and chair of the government advisory committee on the medical effects of air pollutants, the governments’ strategy does not go far enough.
According to the Royal College of Physicians the premature deaths of around 29,000 people in the UK each year, are linked to particle pollution, which is more than the 23,500 early deaths attributed to nitrogen dioxide. The combined total is expected to be around 40,000 as some people are harmed by both pollutants.
Professor Frank Kelly believes that attitudes towards cars are changing, with young people living in London opting for a car club membership and ride-sharing apps instead of buying a car.
London’s Mayor, Sadie Khan, has already committed the city to a future of fewer car journeys, aiming to cut the number by three million per day from In his draft strategy, which was unveiled in June, he proposed making the entire transport system in London free of emissions by 2050.
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