Last year, approximately 29,000 premature deaths in the UK were caused by poor air quality. The air we breathe is now the biggest public health risk after smoking.
The UK’s current arrangements for air quality monitoring produce detailed and comprehensive measures and records of pollution and are essential for a number of reasons:
1. This information allows those most affected by airbourne pollution to take appropriate action to minimise the impact on days when pollution is highest
2. It allows you as Secretary of State, to measure and monitor the impact of any policies designed to improve air quality and to identify and implement those which are most effective, in the areas where they are most needed – if you don’t measure pollution you will have no idea what works
3. The long-term nature of the current monitoring procedures creates a longitudinal data set which is, and will be, of immense scientific value. Breaking the monitoring arrangements now will irrevocably destroy this dataset
4. There is a legal EU obligation to operate a monitoring network and to improve local air quality
We would therefore like to strongly oppose the proposals you are currently putting forward to scrap or reduce local air quality management and ask that you will consider this petition in the responses to your current consultation on the matter.