I was fortunate enough to recently chair a really interesting committee meeting of the Bus and Coach forum held in Nottingham. It was as ever a really busy agenda with some really big items to be discussed. From the implications of the Bus Services Bill through to the very real challenges of Brexit, and the possible questions raised around disruptive technologies. Between the magnitude of these massive issues was the question of clean air and the results of pollution on the health and well being of those who live not just in the UK but else where in the world.
I do not know about you dear reader but the reality is that with President Trump now deciding to put America first and withdraw from the Paris Treaty. We today face real and life changing issues from our relaxed if not apathetic approach towards pollution, congestion, and the whole “well it is not my problem is it”, type of attitude that if honest people like me have had around this subject.
The truth is that we are in real terms poisoning more of our fellow citizens than ever before. And the depth of passion that was demonstrated at the meeting in Nottingham reflected this as people got seriously animated in a way that I have not observed before for a long time. And there is a good reason for this cities like Birmingham where I live have some of the worst air quality records in Europe. For a city that prided itself on building cars and if truth be told where the private car is king even today, it is a sad truism that slowly but surely we are collectively dying in greater numbers due to the effects of not regulating the unchecked abuse of fossil fuels.
As the chair of the meeting i encouraged active debate and let me tell you the people there needed little encouragement from me. We represent the interests of road based public transport, that is our remit. Some might say that we have a vested interest and that is probably very true but this argument is far bigger than just us. This about allowing the planet that we share a healthy place to live. And sorry to say we are not doing that and that needs to change, especially now that the most powerful man on earth has delivered on his promise to put America first, just like we have all been putting ourselves first.