“I was there watching her slip away,” says the son of a woman who was left paralysed from a stroke while stuck for six hours on the M25 because of an eco-mob. The driver, David Allen, 60, had to abandon his black BMW when he became stranded in his car on Saturday morning after two miles of traffic ground to a halt.
He made it out alive but his wife died by the time they reached hospital. “If I’m honest she would have been better off staying at home and dying there,” Mr Allen said yesterday.
The heart-rending story is a reminder of the importance of moving to greener forms of transport. “He’s right,” says electric vehicle expert, Dr Joseph Smith. “We have been saying for years now that those who do not go green will pay the ultimate price.
Dr Smith claims that this is just one example from a long list of lives that have been lost by using petrol and diesel fuelled transport. “I think we will soon realise the consequences,” he says.
“A climate emergency has been declared in the UK, yet people still happily drive their cars to work or take planes for a two-week holiday in Spain,” he adds.
Dr Smith, who recently published a paper on the subject in the journal ‘The Lancet’ claims to have documented all such death and suffering. “I remember one incident where dozens of passengers were gassed by an idling lorry at Frankfurt airport. There was another case when a man’s car broke down and he was forced to take his daughter back to school in the family’s diesel people carrier.
According to Dr Smith, this is just the tip of the iceberg. “It will be when these stories are read out at inquests that people will realise how dangerous it is to use petrol and diesel engines in their cars,” he says
“Perhaps the M25 eco-mob story will prompt people to go green,” Dr Smith adds. “I hope it does.
“Many of my patients have no choice but to use petrol and diesel cars, but I tell them not to worry,” says Dr Andrew Chalmers at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. “I recommend taking a tablet in conjunction with each journey and this will prevent any health problems,” he adds.
“It’s all about making little changes,” says Dr Chalmers. “I always recommend going green, but if you can’t then taking a medical precaution is better than not doing anything at all,” he says.
“We have an NHS because it’s important to look after our health,” he adds. “This applies just as much to the planet.
“If we could be sure the tablets will continue to be available over the coming months I would recommend taking them without hesitation,” he says.
“I’m not sure when they will run out, but it cannot be long now,” he adds. “It’s important that people do what they can.