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Nearly a third of cars in Havering pose a ‘serious risk to health’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 February 2017

Doctors are urging the government to scrap diesel cars, especially in London boroughs like Havering. Picture: PA.

Doctors are urging the government to scrap diesel cars, especially in London boroughs like Havering. Picture: PA.

Archant

Almost a third of cars in the borough run on diesel and are contributing to a ‘health emergency’, according to health leaders.

Last week, the campaign group Doctors against Diesel said the vehicles could cause “irreversible lung damage” to children, and pointed out that the government’s own chief medical officer has said diesel vehicles should be phased out.

This comes as the latest Department for Transport (DfT) figures show there are 34,931 diesel cars in Havering.

It equates to 30 per cent of the 115,539 cars in the borough - slightly lower than the London-wide average of 31 per cent.

Nearly 300 doctors, nurses and other health professionals signed a letter addressed to the prime minister.

Doctors Against Diesel has demanded “government action to remove the current fleet of diesel vehicles from the road as soon as possible, with a particular focus on towns and cities”.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is also in favour of diesel car removal.

Mr Khan has put proposals to the government for a national ‘dirty’ diesel scrappage fund to financially compensate low income motorists changing their car to a cleaner model.

London Assembly Member, Tom Copley AM, analysed the levels of diesel cars in Havering and has backed the Mayor of London’s recent call

He said: “Having nearly 35,000 diesel cars on Havering roads undoubtedly poses a significant risk to the health of residents.

“Many car owners will have bought diesel cars in good faith, when the evidence suggested diesel cars were better for the environment. With more recent evidence showing diesel to have numerous public health risks it’s only right that we do everything possible to reduce the number of these cars on our roads.

“I welcome the Mayor’s call to introduce a scrappage scheme, and I urge the government to act quickly. This is a serious health risk which demands a serious – and timely – response.”

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