MP calls for action to improve air quality after heart study
Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has called on the government to act to improve the nation’s air quality following a recent study which proved that pollution is killing people with weak hearts.
Julian raised the issue with Prime Minister David Cameron in the House of Commons after the Lancet study, funded by the British Heart Foundation, exposed the dangers of air pollution, largely caused by traffic fumes.
He asked Mr Cameron to commit to meeting European standards on air quality which he claimed could increase life expectancy by up to eight months.
“There quarters of a million British people suffer from heart failure, a condition that uses one million hospital beds every year,” he said. “Recent research has found that even low levels of air pollution can significantly increase the risk.”
Mr Cameron told him: “Important discussions are ongoing in the European Union at the moment, particularly about car emissions.”
He said that he would write to Julian about the government’s conclusions on the issue.
Julian said later: “This is a timely reminder, if one were needed, that the way we live today is harming us and it has massive implications for future generations. We have to make significant changes.
“This reinforces the Liberal Democrats’ call for proper support for green transport, such as walking and cycling, to end our reliance on motor vehicles.
“Successive governments have chosen to ignore this threat. But since we joined the coalition government we have delivered proper investment to cut pollution by putting more than £1 billion into our Local Sustainable Transport Fund, including £5 million for Cambridge.”