Last week’s poll: continuing concerns over air pollution

A new report has concluded that the health impact of air pollution costs at least €70bn per year (£62bn), with diesel emissions accounting for three quarters of the harm.

The report, from European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), says costs could be reduced by 80 per cent by 2030 if ambitious action were taken

EPHA made recommendations for actions that could be taken by 2030 to reduce health impacts and the costs of air pollution, and these were reflected in the options given in last week’s tightly contest poll.

Of the 530 respondents, 32 per cent agreed that air pollution could be combated by focussing on implementing measures in the worst affected areas, followed by the 31 per cent who think large diesel engine vehicles should be targeted.

Of the remaining vote, 18 per cent would like to bring forward the phase-out of new ICE cars to 2030; seven per cent want a ban on pre-2014 vehicles; and 12 per cent opted for the none of the above option, including Another Steve who said: “The government has a proven track record of saying a lot but doing little. If they were serious about the environment would they really be expanding Heathrow, supporting fracking, destroying public transport, dragging their feet on nuclear energy, and removing subsidies from renewables ? No real action will happen until the waves are lapping over Westminster.”

Nick Cole said: “Banning all ICE is futile. Our economy depends entirely on the free and easy movement of people and goods. Non-ICE is not fit for purpose except in niche inner-city environments and the infrastructure costs to sustain this elsewhere have not been considered.
Who is going to subsidise replacing our entire vehicle fleet of vehicles more than 4 years old?
Diesel engines are the only viable flexible power source for anything other than personal transport. Road transport already operates on tiny margins, anything imposed on them has a direct impact on the cost to the consumer of moving goods.”

“Wouldn’t it be better to reduce the number of journeys people take?” added Clive Gardner. “I’m sure a lot of people could work from home at a computer just as easily as sitting in an office at a computer. We need to reduce the number of cars on the road by reducing the need to travel.”

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