Banning petrol and diesel cars is a good start but more investment is needed in public transport so people can give up owning vehicles altogether, says Baroness Jenny Jones.
The Government has announced that, from 2040, new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned in favour of electric cars, in an attempt to improve air quality in the UK.
Green Party member Baroness Jenny Jones told Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I am glad the Government’s woken up at last to the fact the Government does have an NHS crisis, a public health scandal, in all the premature deaths that happen from air pollution. Forty thousand a year is the figure.”
But Julia argued: “That’s a complete misreading of those figures. There is the equivalent of 29,000 - equivalent deaths, from all air pollution.
"Forty thousand people in this country are not dying every year as a result of air pollution. That is simply a factual error."
Jones also said that, whilst the new plans look sensible, electric cars still create pollution.
"What the Government has to take seriously is better investment in public transport so people can give up their cars," she told our audience.
She added "there's also things like car clubs and they can work in smaller towns and villages, where you pick it up from the curb and you put it back.
"I would recommend [car manufacturers] start spending some research time on electric bikes because I think that could be a real winner, especially in our polluted cities."
When Julia expressed scepticism, Jones responded: "In London, which is leading the way on cycling, you do see people with little trolleys in front of their bikes with their children
"The school run is a big polluter of our air and that’s something we really have to cut. There are far too many children going to school near polluted roads.
"The fewer private vehicles we can have the better for the whole country."
Listen to the full interview above