Saturday, March 5, 2016

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Health Of Children Expendable

Mick Hall @ Organized Rage claims that:

By building the new Thames crossing in Thurrock the Tory government have decided the health of the borough's children is expendable

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It's become increasingly clear Jackie Doyle Price, Thurrock's Tory MP, will not be supporting her constituents when it comes to stopping a fourth Thames crossing being built in the Borough. There is no other way to put this as she has placed her seat in a government limousine above the needs of her constituents. How else can one explain her 180 degree U-turn from opposing any new crossing in Thurrock to become a supporter of option C.

If anyone is not alarmed by the illegally high levels of air pollution in Thurrock they must live elsewhere. Due to the Dartford crossing the borough already has dangerously high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a pollutant that inflames the lungs, stunts growth in children, and increases the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma and lung cancer.

The most prominent source of NO2 is the internal combustion engine in other words the motor car, commercial vehicles, and heavy lorries. Thus there is absolutely no doubt the high concentration of this substance in Thurrock is due to the high volume of traffic at the Dartford crossing.

Unlike the smokestack pollution Thurrock residents suffered from in the past, NO2 is a silent and hidden killer.

As Ian Mudway a clean air expert said: “The life-shortening effects of air pollution are equivalent if not greater than the risks of inactivity and obesity and alcoholism.”  He says. “They should be in that bundle.”

Standards to cut NO2 emissions have sadly been a huge failure. The Volkswagen scandal revealed some motorcar manufacturers were using devices which enabled diesel cars to cheat their way through NO2 emissions tests, by re-tuning their vehicles technology to emit lower levels of NO2 during their MOT than they actually emit when on the open road. This problem is not going away any time soon.

Yet with this knowledge, the Tory government with the support of Ms Doyle Price MP intends to situate a new crossing in Thurrock's remaining green lung. This decision is so indicative of this government who have a history of abusing citizens who are least able to defend themselves.

Undoubtedly they have decided to build the new Thames crossing in Thurrock because they believe Thurrock people will meekly accept their fate.

I will let the clean air expert Mr Mudway sum up:

My litmus test for how seriously authorities take air pollution is if they put schools, care homes for the elderly and affordable homes for young families to buy or rent by busy roads. It drives me absolutely insane.

If any variation of the option C route for the new Thames crossing is finally built, god forbid, it will mean the government will be destroying Thurrock last green spaces, which is an act environmental vandalism in itself. They will also be building a massive new road network alongside existing schools, care homes for the elderly and affordable homes for young families. Plus one of the few areas in the borough where NO2 emissions are not high, will end up with polluted air, with all the dangers to residents health this entails.

Is this what we pay our taxes for? Is the health of Thurrock's children expendable?

More on this subject here
How car industry has continued to undermine Europe’s proposed new emissions test standards.