ONCE again, it would be churlish not to acknowledge the pragmatism of Parliament’s select committees which contribute so much wisdom to the policy-making process.
With four committees now investigating pollution, their findings will be far more comprehensive – this is one of those issues that transcends multiple Whitehall departments and agencies.
The regret is that the Government is unable to act strategically because officials are unable to think outside the box. Though the most polluting vehicles will, for example, be banned from Leeds city centre in time, far more radical measures are likely to be required – Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is looking at pioneering measures to curtail the ‘school run’.
If the study announced today can pull together health, transport and environment policy, it will have made a good start. After all, rising pollution translates to greater pressure on hospital beds and so on.