Air Quality has been a long-standing issue for SERA campaigners. But in our 40th Anniversary year, when the air we breathe has become the biggest public health risk after smoking, action on the matter has become more pressing than ever.
Already in 2013, we have seen six incidents of dangerous levels of air pollution in the UK. Last year, around 25,000 people in the UK died prematurely due to this silent and invisible killer. And it is a killer that affects the poorest and weakest the most.
The European Union has even taken the UK government to court over their inaction on the matter.
Sadly, rather than taking this issue as seriously as it deserves to be, the government has focused their efforts on fiddling the books. In London (where air quality is the poorest) Boris Johnson, until recently, had been spraying glue from the back of a lorry to stick pollution to the roads around the capital’s pollution monitoring stations (you can see a video of the lorry in action here).
Most worryingly of all however, the Government is currently consulting on proposals to dismantle the network of air quality monitors across the UK, telling Local Authorities that they now no longer have responsibility for this matter. SERA Secretary Melanie Smallman has set up an online petition to object to these proposals. While stopping monitoring air quality might save money and keep pollution off the public agenda, it will leave us blind to the hidden danger surrounding us and put thousands more lives at risk each year. Please sign our petition.