Government's long-awaited Air Quality plans not good enough, says CIEH

Publication Date: 5th May 2017

Subject: Environmental protection

Following the publication of the Government’s Air Quality plans, Tony Lewis, Head of Policy at the CIEH, said: 

“The Government’s long awaited plans simply aren’t good enough. Despite standing on the cliff-edge of a national public health emergency, it looks like they would prefer not to upset the apple cart before an election rather than give us a plan that really tackles air pollution.

“While we welcome measures to invest in sustainable vehicles, retrofitting schemes and providing more information to consumers, there is so much more the Government should have done. Clean Air Zones are being hailed as a solution and yet the trials of these zones in five cities have barely started and there are no outcomes to evaluate their effectiveness. Furthermore, there is no clarity on provisions for a diesel scrappage scheme and without a new clean air act, where is the regulatory framework to enforce standards?

“Air pollution is a national issue and although the Government says it will provide a structure, responsibility is left at the door of our already stretched local authorities with no clarity of where resources will come from. These plans are weak and we urge as many people to respond to the consultation to put more pressure on the Government to step up their game before it’s too late.”


Notes to editors 

For CIEH enquiries, please contact Steven Fifer on: 020 7827 5922 or email

Link to Government’s Air Quality plans: 

About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):   

CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing over 7,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved. 

Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.  

For more information visit and follow CIEH on Twitter @The_CIEH.

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