The campaign group Stop Killing Cyclists is to stage a protest outside the DfT to highlight the more than 9,500 Londoners it says are “poisoned to death each year by transport pollution”. (Road.CC)
The group, known for organising a series of ‘die-ins’, is calling on supporters to meet at 5.00pm on 27 April to protest against government policy which it says does too little to tackle air pollution.
It is calling for a ban on private cars in London on occasions when EU air quality levels are broken, with a total ban on diesel cars within five years and all fossil fuel engines within 10 years.
Donnachadh McCarthy, co-founder of Stop Killing Cyclists, says the government is blocking progress on cutting pollution through measures including increasing taxes on greener cars and reducing taxes on more polluting vehicles.
In November 2015, the London Assembly called for a ban on lorries from the city’s streets during rush-hour, a move that was criticised the Freight Transport Association.
In a seperate Road.CC report, Chris Boardman said a cycling strategy is the key to reducing the estimated 23,500 premature deaths each year caused by air pollution, a situation he says should be treated as a "national emergency".
Donnachadh McCarthy said: “The [Stop Killing Cyclists] organising committee have decided we needed to stage a pollution protest, as over 9,500 Londoners are being poisoned to death each year by transport pollution.
“This includes about 3,800 bike owners, which dwarfs the 15 killed by traffic every year (up to introduction of latest truck safety measures).
“It is truly horrendous that London’s traffic pollution is stunting the development children’s lungs, thus disabling them for life.
“But we currently have no policy other than promoting cycling infrastructure and making cycling safer for everyone.”