One of the key roles of a Government in the 21st century is the safety and well being of its citizens. It protects us from illness, makes sure we have food drink and shelter and reads our emails to ensure that terrorists don’t blow us up. It even makes us pay a premium for our energy to ensure the survival of the planet. But while an average of 260 people die of hypothermia each year and an average of 5 people per year are killed by terrorists in the UK , 28,000 are killed by air pollution. The solution is clear, to prevent these deaths we need to reduce air pollution and the only way to do that is to reduce vehicle emissions.
So step in OLEV. But, for whatever reason, this quango seems obsessed with electric cars and, despite announcing a subsidy for electric bikes in March last year, so far nothing has been implemented. However the problem with electric cars is range and refueling and take up has been low. Electric bikes, on the other hand are relatively inexpensive and give people the opportunity to substitute all the local journeys they currently make by car, which would have the effect of reducing congestion and pollution dramatically.
So instead of nagging us about all the things we can control about our health, obesity smoking and drinking, why doesn’t the Government encourage a change of behaviour that will protect us from a killer we cannot avoid- the toxins in the air we breathe?