Oxford-based Larry Sanders, national Green Party spokesperson on Health and Social Care, is very concerned about a new report suggesting air pollution deaths in the UK have now reached 40,000 per year. The Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have stressed that both indoor and outdoor air pollution are a source of premature deaths. Larry comments:
"It is appalling that new research is suggesting air pollution is killing 40,000 in the country each year. In Oxfordshire, two things concern me particularly: first, that dramatic increases in traffic on Oxfordshire roads in the last few years means that County residents are being exposed to more air pollutants than before.
"Secondly, housing in the County is too expensive for most people to buy or rent so we can expect planned increases in employment to lead to major commuter traffic increases on routes into the County and its employment centres. Commitments by local authorities and major employers to convert their vehicle fleets to be all-electric within a decade would be appropriate."
Ruthi Brandt, Oxford City Councillor who is Environment Shadow Portfolio Holder, adds:
"Urban centres like Oxford still have serious air pollution, notably nitrogen dioxide, as well as the presence of carcinogens from diesel vehicles. In the city centre air pollution regularly exceeds the European regulations, putting residents' and visitors' health at risk. In other areas, planned developments like the Northern Gateway rightfully raise local concerns about increasing pollution levels. These threats to people's health must be taken into account when approving new developments."