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UK environment minister’s “pitiful” scrappage plan asks council to do his work for him

The UK government today published its response to the consultation on support for people affected by the government’s air quality plan. Unfortunately, the response is little more than an inventory of possible measures – with no strong recommendations given.

ClientEarth Head of UK Public Affairs Simon Alcock said: “This is a pitiful response from the government, which is yet again shirking its responsibility to clean up our country’s harmful and illegal air pollution. The proposal outlined today is of no value to anybody. Michael Gove has passed the buck yet again to local councils to see if they can do his work for him.

“No extra money has been allocated to the fund, despite the fact that the number of councils expected to come up with air quality plans has more than doubled following ClientEarth’s recent victory in the High Court. And the car industry, which helped get us into this mess, is still not paying a single penny to help get us out of it.”

There was only one mention of a scrappage scheme in the entire document, despite it being a key measure to reduce pollution, attracting broad public support.

Alcock added: “It is remarkable that Michael Gove has no interest in helping British people switch from dirty diesel vehicles to cleaner forms of transport. People are breathing dirty air across our country and paying the price with their health – but cleaning it up is not rocket science. We need a national network of clean air zones and proper help for people to switch to cleaner forms of transport such as a targeted scrappage scheme.”

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