London, 15 Dec 2001.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

ABD Exposes Flaws In Minister's Pronouncement
Environment Minister Michael Meacher this week showed that he has no grasp of environmental science by making a public statement which flies in the face of the facts.
In response to supposedly poor air quality across northern Britain, Mr. Meacher urged drivers to stop using their cars, saying "By making use of public transport instead, we can all do our bit to improve air quality."

The Transport Research Laboratory disagrees. Their Report 431 "A Low Emission Zone for London" said "Restrictions on cars on air quality grounds have been shown not to be warranted".

The main pollutant in question is a fine particulate called PM10. The ABD would like to point out that according to the London Research Centre, a petrol car emits 0.013 grams of PM10 per km, and a diesel car 0.091 g/km. A diesel-powered bus, on the other hand, emits 0.985 g/km - nearly eleven times as much as a diesel car and over SEVENTY FIVE times as much as a petrol car.

Petrol Car 0.013 g/km
Diesel Car 0.091 g/km
Diesel Bus 0.985 g/km

Far from reducing levels of PM10's, increased use of buses will lead to an increase, further lowering air quality.

The ABD's Environment Spokesman Bernard Abrams commented

"This illustrates how this Government siezes any scare story to advance their anti-car agenda, even when the facts don't support what they say. This isn't even spin, this is just plain wrong-minded. Either Mr Meacher appears to have no idea what he's talking about, or he's deliberately using scare tactics to force drivers out of their cars knowing that the facts are against him."
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said
"The scientific research shows that there is no need to reduce car use on environmental grounds. Only politicians and pressure groups with an anti-car agenda persist in telling us that there is".

"If Mr Meacher wants to try and improve air quality by changing people's mode of transport he would be better off banning buses from town centres and advising people to use their cars instead."


Notes for Editors