The government appears very confident that the European Commission will grant it more time to meet EU limits on particulate pollution in London.
Every official I have spoken to has been at pains to stress that the process is a mere formality. The UK is absolutely not at risk of being taken to court, let alone of facing EU-imposed fines, they chorus.
Meanwhile, local government is beginning to notice with alarm that the Localism Bill currently in parliament would make councils – who are responsible for delivering on local air quality targets – liable in the (unimaginable) eventuality that the UK faced EU fines for breaching European air quality standards.
Does the government know something we don’t?
Friends of the Earth has joined other activist groups in condemning the planned scrapping of the western extension of London’s congestion charging zone. Consultation on the proposal ends today.
The extension, known as the WEZ, was introduced in 2007 by former mayor Ken Livingstone, four years after the original zone. The resulting drop in traffic levels cut carbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions, and raised public transport use. (more…)