London smog

UK Government keep oh so quiet about smog

It might well have escaped you that we have been in the middle of a serious smog episode in England and Wales. The same is unlikely to be true for people living in similarly affected areas of France or Belgium, where their governments have taken a distinctly more proactive approach to warning people of the dangerous levels of air pollution over the last couple of days.

For more detail, read this blog from Alan Andrews who having moved to Brussels from London is well qualified to comment on the difference in approach to smog alerts.

The Healthy Air Campaign has long been calling for lead government department Defra to do more to warn the public when air pollution is high. Next week we’ll be meeting with Defra minister Dan Rogerson and this will be top of our agenda. With France and Belgium putting us to shame, giving comprehensive warnings through a variety of media channels, providing free public transport and reducing speed limits, it will be interesting to see what the excuse is for not doing the same for the British people.

We’ll report back.

2 Responses to UK Government keep oh so quiet about smog

  1. Maureen Ivens says:

    congratulations on your campaign, which I have only just discovered. It is very impressive and you must be working so hard to run it.
    I think you have a petition on the website (that I will sign now). Have you considered launching one on either avaaz or 38 degrees?
    p.s. I helped to set up and run the successful campaign to save Friern Barnet Library, which ended with the Council turning it over to local residents to run. We had occupiers at the library, but even before their arrival we managed to get the press interested in covering our story (the sit-in particularly). Stunts, press helped so much. Living near the North Circular a stunt down this way, at the moment, could create a great London news story. I know local Green Party activists who would also join in!

    • Maria Arnold says:

      Hi Maureen, thanks for your comment. We have launched a petition with 38 degrees last year and just last week as well – please do sign up if you haven’t already. And thanks for your other suggestions – we’re definitely considering the best way forward after all the press attention last week so we’ll bear it all in mind.
      Thanks, Maria

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