Select committees combine to scrutinise government air quality policies

Pressure is mounting on the government to tackle urban pollution as the 24 April deadline for its new clean air bill approaches.

Four select committees have joined forces to examine the government’s plans to tackle urban pollution hot spots, including the significance of vehicle emissions, and to consider evidence of the health and environmental impacts it can have.

The committees involved are the Transport Committee, Health Committee, Environmental Food and Rural Affairs Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee.

The move comes after the government lost two court cases regarding its plans for addressing the UK’s nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels, which resulted in orders from the High Court and the EC to clean up its act.

The combined committees will examine whether the government’s latest plans to tackle NO2 meet the standards set out in these requirements over the course of four evidence sessions.

Louise Ellman, chairwoman of the Transport Committee, said: “The UK economy depends on an efficient and flexible transport system, but emissions from vehicles are a significant problem and the standards that governments have relied on have not delivered the expected reductions.

“We will be asking what more can be done to increase the use of cleaner vehicles as well as to encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport.”