Liberal Democrats have reacted angrily to news that ministers are today defending in the High Court their decision not to release a crucial clean air plan for the UK to tackle illegal levels of air pollution.
Ed Davey, former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said:
"Ministers are having to be dragged kicking and screaming to the High Court at vast expense to the public purse so that they can keep the public in the dark about how bad air is killing people in our towns and cities.
"This is rapidly developing into a scandal as the government seeks to keep this devastating report under wraps until after the election. The government can’t use the courts to gag the truth when people's heath is at stake. Our message is simple: drop the court case, do the right thing, publish the report."
Richard Samuel, recently elected Liberal Democrat Councillor for Bath’s Walcot ward, added:
"During my recent by-election campaign, residents repeatedly shared their strong concerns about the appalling traffic and pollution along London Road and Bathwick Street. People are fed up with excuses from the Conservatives and want to see decisive action now.
"The Conservative government’s flouting of the court’s decision shows that they are more interested in playing party politics than taking residents’ health seriously. Failure to tackle vehicle-induced air pollution, particularly from diesel engines, is placing unnecessary burdens on the NHS and storing up problems for the future."
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