UK Government seeks clean air plan delay 

Posted: April 24, 2017 by oldbrew in government, Legal, Politics, pollution

City life in China

Maybe the courts could order the issue of free anti-pollution masks, pending any government ‘clean-up’ action.

The UK government may face legal action after seeking to delay publishing its plan to tackle air pollution until after the general election, says BBC News.

The courts had given ministers until 16:00 on Monday to set out draft measures to combat illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. A 2016 court ruling said existing measures proposed by the government did not meet the requirements of law.

The general election is scheduled to take place on 8 June.

In a surprise move late on Friday, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) lodged a fresh application with the High Court to postpone publication of its draft clean air plan until after the election.

It argued the move was necessary in order to comply with election “purdah” rules limiting government announcements with political implications during the election period.

Green group wins air pollution court battle

The environmental lawyers who have brought legal proceedings against the government, ClientEarth, said they were considering whether to challenge the application.

“The unacceptable last minute nature of the government’s application late on Friday night, after the court had closed, has meant that we have spent the weekend considering our response,” said chief executive James Thornton.

Full report: Government seeks clear air plan delay – BBC News

  1. oldbrew says:

    Guardian report: Government accused of ‘running scared’ of diesel drivers in delay of clean air plan

    Politicians and environmental groups say ministers have failed to tackle air pollution crisis and are hiding behind election purdah rules
    – – –
    Having told people to buy diesels, they now want their votes before giving them the bad news on new charges for alleged diesel pollution. That’s the claim at least.

  2. ivan says:

    I thought the UK was under a democratic government but it appears to be rule by unelected pressure groups that throw their toys out of the pram if they don’t get their own way.

  3. oldbrew says:

    No big surprise…

    BBC: Government bid to delay air pollution plan fails

    ‘the High Court ordered the draft plans to be published on 9 May, five days after the local elections, but long before the general election on 8 June.

    The date for publication of the final document remains unchanged on 31 July.
    . . .
    The government could yet appeal the ruling, which might effectively delay the process anyway.’

    Or they could just put up a token plan that doesn’t say a lot, to meet the deadline?

  4. oldbrew says:

    Daily Mail: Diesel drivers face paying to drive into town centres and controversial plans will include ‘clean air zones’ in the worst affected areas

    Ministers dropped plans to give councils free rein over the zones and charges

    Local authorities will have to get ministerial sign off for air pollution schemes

    Measures include removing speed humps and fixing poorly designed traffic light schemes which are blamed for causing congestion that leads to pollution

    One source said the aim was to ‘turn White Van Man into Green Van Man’

    Read more:

    ‘removing speed humps’ – they were always a crude idea.

  5. oldbrew says:

    ‘Weak’ cleaner air plan announced. Trading a few old diesels for electric cars sounds a bit of a joke.

    BBC — Air quality: Diesel scrappage scheme being considered