London, 19 Jan 2000.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Government And Greens Mislead Public On Air Quality
No Need to Restrict Car Use on Pollution Grounds
This week, the government has been accused of suppressing a report prepared by Imperial College London for the Department of Health. This study accused the DETR and the Environment Agency of producing misleading information in both public statements and guidelines to local authorities on air quality issues.

Meanwhile, environmental groups have been on the radio using the fact that rural low level ozone exceeded limits on a few more days than usual in 1999 (because of the hot summer) to create the entirely false impression that air pollution is worsening and that cars are to blame and must therefore be restricted.

The Association of British Drivers has for many years been pointing out the true facts about air quality - facts which give the car a clean bill of health:

"We have made these points clear to both Government and media on many occasions," said ABD environment spokesman Bernard Abrams. "We are disappointed that both the greens and the DETR continue to ignore what we say and mislead the public about the heath effects of exhaust pollution in order to justify restrictions on car use."

"Now we find that a scientific report, prepared for the Department of Health, and which backs everything we have been saying about air quality, is being suppressed by the Government in the very week when they are publishing plans for new restrictions to improve air quality at great cost to the country."

The Government, in the shape of new Transport Minister Lord MacDonald, claim they are not against the car. If they mean this then they must:

Summary of main points reported in the media about the Imperial College report:

The Daily Telegraph

The Times

Traffic Fumes 'do not harm London health'

"Health ministers were initially reluctant to publish the new report, by respected academics, because it counters previous government beliefs........It's finding that "few traffic measures are justifiable on health grounds" will spark intense debate on the eve of the government's announcement of plans to cut the amount of traffic"

BBC Local news
Interviewing Prof. Stephen Glaistor of Imperial College London, who have just released the results of study into London's air quality.

"London has the cleanest air of most of the world's capital cities and the environmentals are painting an untrue picture. Car emissions are not doing us any harm and we would all get healthier if we gave up smoking and did more walking, especially in central London."


Notes for Editors