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Campaign group says government is doing too little to reduce air pollution that kills 9,500 Londoners per year

Stop Killing Cyclists is staging a protest outside the Department for Transport (DfT) headquarters to highlight the more than 9,500 Londoners it says are “poisoned to death each year by transport pollution”.

The group, known for its die-ins, is calling supporters to meet on 27 April on Horseferry Road at 5pm to protest government policy it says is doing too little to tackle air pollution, while prioritising the least efficient private motor cars.

The group’s co-founder, Donnachadh McCarthy, has suggested a ban to private cars in London each time EU air quality levels are broken, with a total ban on diesel cars within five years and all fossil fuel engines within ten years.

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He says: “The [Stop Killing Cyclists] organising committee have decided we needed to stage a pollution protest on Wednesday April 27th, outside the Ministry for Transport on Horseferry Road, as over 9,500 Londoners are being poisoned to death each year by transport pollution.

“This includes about 3,800 bike owners, which dwarfs the 15 killed by traffic every year (up to introduction of latest truck safety measures).

“It is truly horrendous that London's traffic pollution is stunting the development children's lungs, thus disabling them for life!!”

“But we currently have no policy other than promoting cycling infrastructure and making cycling safer for everyone.”

He says the government is blocking progress on cutting pollution via measures such as increased taxes on greener cars while reducing taxes on more polluting vehicles, as well as lobbying the EU to relax pollution testing standards following the VW emissions scandal. McCarthy also criticised the banning of cameras to enforce parking restrictions, and government plans for London and other UK cities, including Birmingham and Leeds, to exceed EU pollution limits until 2030.